Performance in Place of War

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-05-12
  • Publisher: Seagull Books
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From the Greeks and Shakespeare to the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, war has always been a major theme for theatre and performance makers. However, the most extraordinary performance projects in recent years have not only been about war but have also come from conflict zones themselves. Performance in Place of War is concerned with these initiatives--theatre in refugee camps, in war-affected villages, in towns under curfew, in cities under occupation. The book presents theatre and performance that occurs literally at the moment bombs are falling, as well as during times of ceasefire and in the aftermaths of war.
Performance in Place of War draws on extensive original material and includes descriptions of practice, interviews with artists, short play extracts, and photographs from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, Israel, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, the UK and US.
The authors combine critical commentary, overviews of the conflicts and first hand accounts. They ask: Why in times of disruption has there been a turn to performance? What aesthetic, ethical and political choices are made in these different contexts?  What can these examples tell us about the role of performance in our unpredictable times?

Author Biography

James Thompson is a professor of Applied and Social Theatre at the University of Manchester, Director of In Place of War, and a Director of the Centre for Applied Theatre Research. He is author of Applied Theatre: Bewilderment and Beyond (2003), Digging Up Stories (2005) and the forthcoming Performance Affects (2009). 
Jenny Hughes is a lecturer in Applied Theatre at the University of Manchester and a Director of the Centre for Applied Theatre Research. She has worked as a practitioner in the criminal justice and special education system in the UK and as a researcher for In Place of War, with particular focus on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland.
Michael Balfour is a professor of Applied Theatre, Griffith University, Australia. He is the author and editor of a number of books and articles related to applied theatre, including Theatre in Prison, Theory and Practice (2004) and Drama as Social Intervention (co-edited with John Somers) (2006).

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