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Tuesday Drama Colloquium

Tuesday Drama Colloquium
214 College St., 3rd floor seminar room
Time: Oct 23rd, 2:15 pm End: Oct 23rd, 3:45 pm
Interest Categories: Urban, Medieval Studies (FAS), English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM), Cities and Humanities, Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC), 2000-, 1500-1800
Two short papers by Jacqueline Taucaur (Toronto) and Dr. James McKinnon (New Zealand)

The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies is pleased to present:

Tuesday Colloquium

This event is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at (416) 978-7980

Jacqueline Taucar, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies

“Performing Festival Dramaturgy at Toronto’s Ethno-Cultural Events”

"Toronto is host to no less than fifty ethno-cultural festivals and displays annually.  Yet such a proliferation of ethno-cultural festivals raises the question of why scholars have largely ignored the relationship between Canada’s institutionalized multicultural policy and cultural performances or trivialized such performances as superficial, even to the point of configuring them as “Disneyfication” (Bissoondath 1994), and “McMulticultural” (Thoroski 1997). Although superficial performances of cultural identities may be presented at festivals, such readings homogenize the festival experience of participants, overlooking the subversive and the multiple meanings that are performed and contested within the festival space.  Of particular interest is the way performing bodies and material objects are used to create, perform, and present multicultural identities that play into normative understandings as well as opening performances of resistance."

Jacqueline Taucar is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. Currently she is completing her dissertation entitled “Acting Out(side) the Multicultural Script in Ethno-Cultural Festivals.” Jacqueline has been attending some of Toronto’s ethno-cultural festivals from as early as 1996.  As part of her doctoral study, Jacqueline has documented performances and media reception of Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival, Caravan Festival, and a Taste of the Danforth since 2007.

Dr. James McKinnon, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Lodestone or Lead Weight?: How ‘Shakespeare’ Means at the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival”

Shakespeare’s plays served many generations of Pākehā colonists as a cultural compass, orienting them to their symbolic and geographical “North”: Britain. But how will Shakespeare serve contemporary Aotearoans – Pākehā, Māori, and otherwise – as they navigate the 21st century? Shakespeare remains New Zealand’s most performed playwright, and the only one with festivals dedicated to producing his work. But Britain’s magnetic pull is not what it once was, and Shakespeare now polarizes in a different sense, as became apparent in recent debates over whether his role in the secondary school curriculum should be diminished or eliminated. Will New Zealanders come to view Shakespeare as a relic of the colonial past, or claim him as an integral part of their “own” culture? Will they continue to look overseas for examples of “authentic” Shakespeare, or chart their own course? And in defining their relationship to Shakespeare, how will they redefine themselves?

The intriguing constellation of local and international Shakespeare performances occasioned by the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival in Wellington offers a unique opportunity to explore how “Shakespeare” informs the ongoing negotiation of New Zealand identities. Audiences witnessed productions of Henry V and The Winter’s Tale byrenowned English group Propeller; two responses to Hamlet, including Pan Pan’s widely-acclaimed The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane, and a solo show by local actor Michael Hurst called Frequently Asked Questions: To Be or Not to Be, Etc.; and the world premiere of the Maori Troilus and Cressida, which was also touted as New Zealand’s contribution to the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad. My paper will analyze these performances and their local reception – situated as carefully as possible in their cultural and material context – as evidence of how contemporary New Zealanders use Shakespeare to construct, reinforce, challenge, and destabilize competing notions of “New Zealand” identity.

James McKinnon who graduated from the Drama Centre in 2010, now lectures in Theatre at Victoria University of Wellington. His research focuses on how contemporary artists and audiences exploit and contest the authority of Shakespeare, Chekhov, and other canonical authors, through various sorts of adaptation and appropriation. More recently, he has explored the implications of adaptive dramaturgy in tertiary theatre classrooms. His presentation on “Mapping Chekhov in Canada” was featured in the early career scholars panel at the 2011 ADSA conference in Melbourne.

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