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Staging Thought

Essays on Irish Theatre, Scholarship and Practice

Edited By Rhona Trench

This collection of essays showcases the rich diversity of current writing about Irish theatre. The volume includes perspectives from experts in scenography, physical theatre, dramaturgy and stand-up comedy, as well as academic contributions drawing from anthropology, psychology, sociology, gender studies and performance studies. Exploring plays, events, exhibitions, performances, and rehearsal and realization processes, the essays provide a stimulating analysis of the languages and procedures of theatre in Ireland. The book demonstrates that performance studies and practices are continuing to expand, suggesting that Ireland’s text-centric theatre has begun to cast its net further afield and pointing to the rich possibilities within Irish theatre, scholarship and practice, now and for the future.


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Rhona Trench - Introduction – Staging Thought: Essays on Irish Theatre, Scholarship and Practice 1


Rhona Trench Introduction – Staging Thought: Essays on Irish Theatre, Scholarship and Practice It is not possible to capture what Irish theatre is, given its breadth, its innumerable complexities and its ever-changing landscape. What kinds of boundaries or frameworks can be placed around its expansive field when its web of ideas, interactions, images, narratives, productions, processes, practices and studies relate, clash, cross-over, dissent, converge with and diverge from one another? Even within a single study of a playtext, proc- ess or performance, there are dif ferent contexts, perspectives, personali- ties, re-imaginings and ways of working that continue to complicate Irish theatre practices. This collection of peer-reviewed essays demonstrates the diversity of voices currently writing about Irish theatre. These accomplished and signifi- cant ways of thinking about Irish theatre stem for some contributors from their direct role as creators involved in the realization of a performance, and for others, it stems from writing about the creation or production of a work(s). A number of important playwrights, such as Marina Carr and Enda Walsh, form the focus of more than one essay, revealing the variety of possible approaches to a single author, while simultaneously exposing the myriad of connections in the fields and frameworks of scholarships and practices that continue to challenge and provoke debate on Irish theatre. These essays originated in papers presented at the Irish Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) conference, hosted by the Institute of Technology, Sligo, in 2009. The conference, entitled ‘Players and Painted Stage’, sought to encourage...

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