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Title: Staging geographies and the geographies of staging : space and place in Shakespeare's Richard II : text and production
Author: Higgins, Laura Jane
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
This thesis provides a new set of analytical tools with which to approach Shakespeare’s plays in production. This approach, which I am terming theatrical geographies, operates through a tripartite process which involves an analysis of the textual geographies, an examination of the geographies of staging across the play’s performance history, and a close reading of the workings of space and place in a selection of contemporary productions. By combining theoretical perspectives and conceptualizations of space and place from cultural geography with existing ideas on theatrical space, this critical framework furthers understanding of the multiple spatialities that performance generates and illuminates the role of space(s) in creating meaning. This research brings together elements of traditional Theatre History and Performance Studies, and builds on previous work which has focused on the individual areas of space as a dramaturgical element, theatre architecture, the histories of individual theatres, and scenography. By taking account of important questions left by these engagements with theatrical space and adding an interrogation of space in action in postmodern performance, theatrical geographies offers an integrated approach to the complex interactions between text, place, and performance. This enables a more nuanced analysis of the real and imagined spaces of the theatrical event as it facilitates an examination of the materialization of the fictive world and a consideration of the ways in which individual plays intervene in the identities of their places of performance. My test case is Richard II. An analysis of the textual geographies reveals the richly ambiguous places that comprise the playworld, and applying a geographical consciousness to contemporary productions demonstrates the negotiations between Shakespeare’s dramatic-geographical imagination and spatial issues of concern in the postmodern world, thus uncovering fresh nuances in the play and opening up new conceptions of its potential cultural work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.586722  DOI: Not available
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