Contemporary Antigones, Medeas, and Trojan Women perform on stages around the world

Kekis, Olga (2013). Contemporary Antigones, Medeas, and Trojan Women perform on stages around the world. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines postmodern theatrical adaptations of Antigone, Medea and The Trojan Women to show how they re-define the central female figures of the source texts by creating a new work, or ‘hyperplay’, that gives the silenced and often silent female figures a voice, and assigns them a political presence in their own right. Using a collection of diverse plays and their performances which occurred in a variety of geographical locations in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this thesis analyzes adaptive, ‘hypertheatrical’, strategies employed by the theatre, through which play texts from the past are ‘re-made’ in the here and now of theatrical performances. A close analysis of these performances demonstrates how the historical and cultural identity of contemporary audiences informs the process of re-interpretation of familiar material within new contexts. They evidence how these re-makings reflect the culture, the political moment or the socio-historical coincidence in which they are conceived and performed. Most importantly this thesis shows that without exception these appropriations become entirely new Antigones, Medeas and Trojan Women; they invoke re-configurations or re-inventions of femininity which detect and emphasise individual women’s strengths and female solidarity, thus placing the plays firmly within a contemporary feminist discourse.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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