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December 20 , 2008

Theatre and National Identity

Re-Imagining Conceptions of Nation


This book explores the ways that pre-existing ‘national’ works or ‘national theatre’ sites can offer a rich source of material for speaking to the contemporary moment because of the resonances or associations they offer of a different time, place, politics, or culture. Featuring a broad international scope, it offers a series of thought-provoking essays that explore how playwrights, directors, theatre-makers, and performance artists have re-staged or re-worked a classic national play, performance, theatrical form, or theatre space in order to engage with conceptions of and questions around the nation, nationalism, and national identity in the contemporary moment, opening up new ways of thinking about or problematizing questions around the nation and national identity. Chapters ask how productions engage with a particular moment in the national psyche in the context of internationalism and globalization, for example, as well as how productions explore the interconnectivity of nations, intercultural agendas, or cosmopolitanism. They also explore questions relating to the presence of migrants, exiles, or refugees, and the legacy of colonial histories and post-colonial subjectivities. The volume highlights how theatre and performance has the ability to contest and unsettle ideas of the nation and national identity through the use of various sites, stagings, and performance strategies, and how contemporary theatres have portrayed national agendas and characters at a time of intense cultural flux and repositioning.

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