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Postmodern elements of theories and practice in the collaborative works of the necessary stage, Caryl Churchill and the Wooster group

Tan Cheong Kheng, Alvin (1999)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis investigates collaboration as a creation method that contests the assumptions behind traditional theatre’s hierarchical structure. Traditionally, the playwright occupies the primary creation phase, leaving the director, designers and actors to fulfill an interpretative function. However, works primarily reliant on non-literary signifiers require a methodology that involves artists from varied disciplines earlier in the creation process.
Collaborating hierarchically gives way to co-authorship collaboration, revising the natures of artistic roles, relationships and composition. Interdisciplinary practice is adopted by practitioners interested in exploring the interactions between the literary text and the resources of other disciplines, giving rise to hybrid and semiotic-based performance texts.

The aim of this thesis is to appreciate the ways in which issue-orientated ‘60s and ‘70s social transformation theatre is contemporised to a theatre of empowerment whose object is to challenge rationalised mindsets and empower imaginations through engaging the audience as co-artist. The collaborative practices of British playwright Caryl Churchill and American’s Wooster Group are compared to examine the relationships between their processes and application of artistic strategies in organising their materials. The thesis concludes with an analysis of how a Singaporean theatre company, The Necessary Stage modifies and applies the lessons learned in its collaborative works Pillars and Galileo (I Feel The Earth Move).

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Crow, Brian
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
Department:Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Additional Information:

Images included with the permission of The Necessary Stage

Subjects:PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:The author, The Necessary Stage
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:228
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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