This article proposes, explains and describes an original method called Queering Drama, which is the result of this article’s author one decade of research. Queering Drama is not just a theoretical work hypothesis, but also a practical performing method of going beyond limits by Queering the characters of any classic play (the Queering Drama method can be applied to modern plays as well, but the classic plays are the ones most staged, in greater need for new meanings and refashioning). What happened if one character from a classic play would not be put on stage and played as the dramatist dictates, from a sex and gender perspective? What if, instead of a heterosexual woman (labeled by the dramatist as the wife of..., the daughter of...), the character were played as a bisexual male, or a lesbian female, or a plurisexual hermaphrodite? How would that change the relations between the characters? Would it make a difference? Would such staging change the meanings of the play? Queering Drama involves rethinking and discovering new ways of reading old iconic plays, more specifically through their (iconic, by now) characters, and implicitly uncovering new ways of putting them on stage. The possible performance results are infinite new meanings of old plays, original ways of looking at classic characters and unseen, maybe unimaginable ways of staging the classics. The multidisciplinary theoretical base of this daring aim at Drama and Stage, coming from Pirandello the dramatist, entangles the academic fields of Drama, Feminist Theory, Literary Theory and Epistemology.
This article presents a case study of Lockdown, an anthology series developed by two production companies under strict COVID restrictions in Flanders, centred on a prison visiting space. Every episode is written and directed by different screenwriters and directors. The case study clearly shows how a combination of creativity of Flemish independent producers, a felt need to counter the damaging effects of COVID on Flemish audio-visual industries, and the need to produce under strict hygienic and social distancing rules, resulted in a unique creative concept, that, ironically, might not have been achievable under normal circumstances. The analysis shows that the smallness of the Flemish market, which over the past decades resulted in an industry dynamism characterized by improvisation, voluntarism, high dependency on collaboration and short term financial planning, is precisely what might have provided the ideal backdrop for the production of this unique series.
On September 18, 2019, the Romanian National Opera of Cluj- Napoca celebrated its 100th anniversary and on May 25, 2020, it also celebrated a century from its inaugural performance. The birth of a cultural institution represents in itself the first overcoming of a limit: the limit of perpetuity. The concept of limit arose with the awareness of the finite essence of human nature in relation to its need for evolution and, concurrently, with the craving for freedom, exemplary being a desirable consequence of challenging the limit. In this context, humans discovered and endowed art concurrently with the purpose and gift of sublimating them, of guide them in their effort to explore, understand, affirm and overcome their condition. From the multitude of artistic expressions, opera appears to be, perhaps, the most complex genre. From this perspective, the Romanian National Opera of Cluj-Napoca not only has the virtue of being the first institution of this kind in the country, but also of fully observing its artistic status, of triumphantly overcoming all the challenges it, at a historical scale, through the mists of time. Now that the institution has celebrated its centennial, this is no longer a mere trial, but a confirmation. Through its accomplishments, the Cluj Opera has all arguments to be confident in its ability to persevere in going beyond the most recurrent of limits: the future.
This comparative and multidisciplinary article reveals an original perspective on Standup Comedy, proposing the Enlightenment philosophy as a possible roots for Standup Comedy. Subsequently, the Standup Comedian is presented as the most Rational and Detached type of actor. The comparative approach uses writings coming from the Enlightenment, from two very different, but equally iconic philosophers: Diderot, whose discourse focuses on acting (The Actor’s Paradox) and Sade, whose text is directed at gender issues from what we call today a very “politically incorrect” angle (the novel Justine). My theoretical attempt is multidisciplinary, being situated at the intersection between performance studies, literary studies and rhetoric.
The year 2020 is a difficult one for all of us: employees, employers, economic or cultural operators, event organizers, parents and children, artists and spectators. Nothing is as we knew it. The classroom, the performance hall, the office, all moved to our living room, and new technologies have shown us once again that we can no longer live without them in the 21st century, that they can save us in situations that at first sight have no solution. The emotion, the closeness, the direct contact from the rehearsals and from the performance hall have become a rarity for those who work in the artistic area, with the mass spread of a virus that does not take into account anyone’s needs. The artists were forced to bring on stage a mask that they would never have wanted there, the surgical one, and the theater to exceed new limits. Online rehearsals, in the heart of your own library, online premieres, live streaming and pay-per-view have all taken over a living art, an art that needs the here and now of the real, the physicality of real life. Screens are the new filters through which we sift our emotions. Distance art, technologymediated art, pseudo-appropriation are part of the new reality of those who creates and consume art. Surgical masks and visors become indispensable components when working on stage costumes and this can reduce emotion. But this is a challenge for artists like no other, their limits are tested, their creativity tried and their ability to adapt extremely demanded.
Since Antiquity, there have been biunivocal links between theater, technology and visual arts, each of these branches being, if not decisively influenced by the others, at least stimulated. Technology was put at the service of theater either as a logistical part or in “main” roles, sometimes in competition with the actor, in other words with the man. In the first case we are dealing with elevators, cranes, light or sound devices and so on. In the second, with automatic machines, largely autonomous. Applied arts, costumes, scenery, stage props and everything related to scenography are largely synonymous with the performing arts. On the other hand, the technicalartistic commands and requirements coming from the theater have always been a step forward for those directions. Technology and art have also influenced each other, if we take into account, for example, Leonardo da Vinci’s utopian sketches, endowed rather with artistic qualities, but at the same time often functional as stage props. This article points out the idea written above through several representative case studies for the subject approached in a historically evolutionary perspective, relating them to the philosophical concepts or social phenomena behind them.
Arts can provide an alternative to violence and the opportunity to give a voice to the oppressed. Music, arts and theatre can become acts of defiance, a form of resistance, or a simple bridge of reconciliation. Creativity in arts give the community the opportunity to exceed certain boundaries and urges the individuals to see the potential in them and in the whole world. We will analize, therefore, the relations between theatre and war, trying to analize contemporary examples of global conflict zones: theatrical protests against war, performances by refugees and the impact of these in education. Using theatre as a form of awareness of human rights, we are not educating only the audience – we also lead to public awareness, empathy and people-to-people relationships. The vision of a theatre that connects thoughts, feelings and actions represents a powerfull symbol of a democratic society. Theatre, as the most public of art forms, embracing the other arts under it’s hat, can become a form of remodeling a society, using our imagination.