Postmodern dramaturgies: adapting classical Greek tragedies for the contemporary stage

Kerrigan, Stephanie Louise (2019). Postmodern dramaturgies: adapting classical Greek tragedies for the contemporary stage. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis advocates for the utility of postmodernism as a critical lens when examining theatrical adaptations of Greek tragedies produced during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It has been prompted by a rise in the number of contemporary adaptations of Greek tragedies on Western stages and is comprised of three case studies, all of which premiered between 1990 - 2015. The featured works include select examples from New York based playwright Charles L. Mee, Parisian director Ariane Mnouchkine and her company Théâtre du Soleil, and performances and events at the Almeida Theatre, London, as curated by Artistic Director Rupert Goold. Referring to a term coined by Fredric Jameson, this thesis suggests that postmodernism is an enduring ‘cultural dominant’ that informs each of these individuals’ processes of adaptation. Via a consideration of wider postmodern cultural issues such as the destabilisation of notions of identity, an emerging nostalgic or revivalist culture, a weakening historicity and changing forms of knowledge and communication, this thesis reveals a correlation between postmodernism and contemporary motivations for, and approaches to, classical adaptation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
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: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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