Rhiannon Kelly - NATIONAL DRAMA

Rhiannon Kelly

Using Shakespeare's Plays

Using Shakespeare’s Plays to Explore Education Policy Today: Neoliberalism through the lens of Renaissance humanism

The utility of Shakespeare’s plays as a means to explore our present socio-economic system has long been acknowledged. As a Renaissance playwright located at the junction between feudalism and capitalism, Shakespeare was uniquely positioned to reflect upon the nascent market order. As a result, this book utilises six of his plays to assess the impact of neoliberalism on education. Drawing from examples of education policy from the UK and North America, it demonstrates that the alleged innovation of the market order is premised upon ideas that are rejected by Shakespeare, and it advocates Shakespeare’s humanism as a corrective to the failings of neoliberal education policy.
By Sophie Ward. Reviewed by Tom Harrison.

The Routledge Anthology

The Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Performance

The Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Performance brings together a selection of particularly memorable performances, beginning with Nell Gwyn in a 1668 staging of Secret Love, and moving chronologically towards the final performance of John Philip Kemble’s controversial adaptation of Thomas Otway’s Venice Presever’d in October 1795.
This volume contains a wealth of contextual materials, including contemporary reviews, portraits, advertisements, and cast lists. By privileging event over publication, this collection aims to encourage an understanding of performance that emphasises the immediacy – and changeability – of the theatrical repertoire during the long eighteenth century.
Edited by Daniel O’Quinn, Kristina Straub and Misty G Anderson. Reviewed by Trevor R. Griffiths.

Incapacity and Theatricality

Incapacity and Theatricality: Politics and Aesthetics in Theatre Involving Actors with Intellectual Disabilities

Incapacity and Theatricality acknowledges the distinctive contribution to contemporary theatrical performance made by actors with intellectual disabilities. It presents a close examination of certain key theatrical performances across a variety of different media, including John Cassavetes’ 1963 social issues film A Child Is Waiting; the performance art collaboration between Robert Wilson and Christopher Knowles; and the provocative pranksterism of Christoph Schlingensief’s talent show mockumentary FreakStars 3000.
Tracing a global path of performances, Incapacity and Theatricality offers an analysis of how actors with intellectual disabilities have emerged onto the main stage, and how their inclusion calls into question long-held assumptions about both theatre and intellectual disability. By Tony McCaffrey. Reviewed by Paul McNamara.

Drama and Theatre in Urban Contexts

Drama and Theatre in Urban Contexts

Urban theatre can be described as theatre made with or by those whose lives are marked by the urban landscape and its social limits and possibilities. At the heart of this text lies the question of how theatre can illuminate the urban and how theatre is illuminated by the urban. The city, like a play, is a space where everything adopts multiple meanings. It is an objective thought and a subjective experience, a charged and symbolic thing, as well as a real, material, lived reality.
Edited by Kathleen Gallagher and Jonothan Neelands. Reviewed by Nicola Abrahams.

Drama and Social Justice

Drama and Social Justice Theory: research and practice in international contexts

Much has been written within the tradition of drama education and applied theatre around the premise that drama can be a force for change within both individual lives and society more broadly. However, little has been published in terms of charting the nature of this relationship. By combining theoretical, historical and practical perspectives, this book unpacks and explores drama’s intrinsically entwined relationship with society more comprehensively and critically.
By Kelly Freebody and Michael Finneran. Reviewed by Helen Murphy.

Research-based Theatre

Research-based theatre: an artistic methodology

Research-based Theatre aims to present research in a way that is compelling and captivating, connecting with viewers on imaginative and intellectual levels at the same time. Research-Based Theatre brings together scholars and practitioners of research-based theater to construct a theoretical analysis of the field and offer critical reflections on how the methodology can now be applied. The book shares twelve examples of contemporary research-based theater scripts and commentaries from an international group of artists and researchers, selected with an eye toward representing different approaches that come from a variety of disciplinary areas.
By George Belliveau and Graham W. Lea. Reviewed by Flavia Domingues D. Avila.

Essays on Theatre and Change

Essays on Theatre and Change: Towards a Poetics Of

If theatre is a way of seeing, an event onstage but also a fleeting series of moments; not a copy or double but more vitally metamorphosis, transformation, and change, how might we speak to – and of – it? How do we envision and frame a fluid reality that moves faster than we can write?
Arranged over two parts, ‘Figurations’ and ‘Translations’, Essays on Theatre and Change reflects on the animal, history, doubling, translation, and the performative potential of writing itself. Each fictocritical essay weaves between voices, genres and contexts to consider what theatre might be, offering a ‘partial object’ rather than a complete theory. Leaving the page radically open to its reader, Essays on Theatre and Change is a dazzling, multi-lensed account of what it is to think and write on theatre.
By Kélina Gotman. Reviewed by Charlotte Bell.

Drama Education

A Reflective Practitioner’s Guide to (Mis)Adventures in Drama Education – or – What Was I Thinking?

This collection of essays from many of the world’s leading drama education practitioners captures the challenges and struggles of teaching and learning through drama with honesty, humour, and vulnerability. Each essay investigates one particular mistake, or series of mistakes, and interrogates how these (mis)adventures changed the author’s future practice and thinking about learning and teaching through drama. Modelled on reflective practice, this book will be an essential, everyday guide to the challenges of drama education.
Edited by Peter Duffy. Reviewed by Chris Hay.

Imagined Theatres

Imagined Theatres Writing for a Theoretical Stage

Imagined Theatres collects theoretical dramas written by some of the leading scholars and artists of the contemporary stage. These dialogues, prose poems, and microfictions describe imaginary performance events that explore what might be possible and impossible in the theatre.
Each scenario is mirrored by a brief accompanying reflection, asking what they might mean for our thinking about the theatre. These many possible worlds circle around questions that include:
In what way is writing itself a performance?
How do we understand the relationship between real performances that engender imaginary reflections and imaginary conceptions that form the basis for real theatrical productions?
Are we not always imagining theatres when we read or even when we sit in the theatre, watching whatever event we imagine we are seeing?
Edited by Daniel Sack. Reviewed by Joseph Dunne.

Disability and Theatre: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts

Disability and Theatre: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts is a step-by step manual on how to create inclusive theatre, including how and where to find actors, how to publicize productions, run rehearsals, act intricate scenes like fights and battles, work with unions, contracts, and agents, and deal with technical issues. This practical information was born from the author’s 16 years of running the first inclusive theatre company in New York City, and is applicable to any performance level: children’s theatre, community theatre, regional theatre, touring companies, Broadway, and academic theatre. This book features anecdotal case studies that emphasize problem solving, real-world application, and realistic action plans. A comprehensive Companion Website provides additional guidelines and hands-on worksheets.
By Stephanie Barton Farcas. Reviewed by Andy Kempe.

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