In recent years, the artistic representation of communities (e.g. in community-based theatres) has found its source in the realm of the imagination (documentary drama, verbatim theatre, post-dramatic performance, etc.), addressing issues that are important and relevant not only for the communities themselves but also for the wider society. In this presentation I will use Zygmunt Bauman’s notion of the “seductive lightness of being” - or the transitory nature of our virtual experience - to talk about the role of selected community-based theatres in the United States and about their imaginative depiction and discussion of issues which are of vital importance for any community: identity, the personal vs. the political, a sense of belonging, progressiveness, social awareness and the capability of coexistence.
Anderson, B., 2006. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London, New York: Verso.
Bauman, Z., 2000. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Blackwell.
Cohen-Cruz, J., 2005. Local Acts: Community-based Performance in the United States. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Diamond, D., 2007. Theatre for Living: The Art and Science of Community-based Dialogue. Victoria, Oxford: Trafford.
Dolan, J., 2005, Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theater. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Erven, E.v., 2001. Community Theatre: Global Perspectives. London, New York: Routledge.
Haedicke, S.C. & Nellhaus, T., 2001, Performing Democracy: International Perspectives on Urban Community-based Performance. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Jackson, S., 2004. Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kershaw, B., 1992. The Politics of Performance: Radical Theatre as Cultural Intervention. London, New York: Routledge.
Kuftinec, S., 2003. Staging America: Cornerstone and Community-based Theater. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press
Leonard, R.H., Kilkelly, A. and Burnham, L.F., 2006. Performing Communities: Grassroots Ensemble Theaters Deeply Rooted in Eight U.S. Communities. Oakland: New Village Press.
Suk, J., 2011. “Seeing the Seeing the Seeing: Understanding the Spectatorship of Forced Entertainment.” In: American & British Studies Annual, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 146-157.
Suk, J., 2014. “Stepping Off the Empty Stage: Live Art Aspects in Bloody Mess.” In: Hradec Králové Journal of Anglophone Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 55-62.
Thomson, J. & Schechner, R., 2004. “Why ‘Social Theatre’?” In: TDR, Vol. 48, No. 3, pp. 11-16.
Williams, R., 1975. Drama in a Dramatised Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press