July 3-6, 2017. Sponsored by the Medieval English Theatre Society

Performance as Research

This panel seeks papers from participants who are engaging with performance as research in early drama studies. Performance has led to many important strides in the research of early drama, yet theoretical frameworks for such an approach are still underdeveloped. Papers are therefore encouraged to consider how such a methodology can contribute to research. Conversely, case studies of practice-based research can be used to highlight the most important insights as well as the most challenging features of such work.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Staging (e.g. how does a replica of an original staging space affect a modern audience? Has the increasing popularity of modern ambulatory plays changed the perception of pageant-style staging methods?)
  • Acting (e.g. what is the effect of a gestural acting style on a modern audience? What is the effect of women actors in plays that were originally intended for an all-male cast?)
  • Audience reaction (e.g. what can a modern audience ever tell us about a medieval audience?)
  • Translation of plays for modern audiences (e.g. what are the advantages and drawbacks of ‘updating’ a play for a modern audience? How insurmountable a barrier is the use of Middle English in a modern performance?)
  • Site-specific performance (e.g. how have site specific performances improved our understanding of medieval plays? Can a modern performance ever be site specific?)

The panel is relatively open in terms of time frame: anything from liturgical to Tudor drama will be considered, nor does the original material have to be in English.

Please send a 100- to 150-word abstract with title, institutional affiliation, contact information, and brief author bio to Sarah Brazil (sarah.brazil@unige.ch) by September 5, 2016.

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