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Between the Acts: a theoretical and practical study of contemporary dramaturgy

Hannay, ZF (2018) Between the Acts: a theoretical and practical study of contemporary dramaturgy. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

With the ‘passing’ of postmodernism comes a legacy of brokenness: grand narratives of truth, reality and wholeness are always already subject to deconstruction. However, an emerging trend in art making demonstrates the possibility of a simultaneous commitment to cynicism and hopefulness, to fragmentation and wholeness. This practice-based PhD project forms a significant contribution to the discussion of this trend and of the nature of post-postmodernism more generally by outlining a critical and creative dramaturgical vocabulary predicated on the idea of betweenness. Dramaturgy scholarship and practice for the large part focusses on the work of the dramaturg in a production context. This project takes an alternative approach in its practice of dramaturgy as a ‘way of seeing’, a methodological tool to describe works which resist categorisation and seem to be ‘between’. In six case studies of contemporary performance works I analyse how objecthood, the self and the real are concepts shown to be in-process, manifested in a dialogic relationship between two opposing elements. In the practice element I chart an open-ended process of dramaturgical doing, which includes three devised shows, and from which has emerged a set of creative strategies for understanding and responding to brokenness. The Way of Things (2013), Make/Do/Mend (2015) and Song of the Satellites (2017) between them address issues pertinent to brokenness and its treatment: the object, newness, remaking, wholeness, relationality, dialogue, systems and materiality. Set together in dramaturgical dialogue, the practical and theoretical elements of this PhD project together form a means of responding to and accounting for the legacy of postmodern brokenness, and an original contribution to embodied knowledge of dramaturgical practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr ZF Hannay
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 11:40
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 11:40
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23614

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