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Title: The culturally inscribed body and spaces of performance in Samuel Beckett's Theatre : a practice as research exploration of Act Without Words II
Author: Scaife, Sarah Jane
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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This written thesis represents one half of my Practice as Research exploration of Samuel Beckett's Act Without Words 11; the other half takes the form of a presentation of the play on the streets of Limerick, a city in the west of Ireland. A DVD of this presentation is available to watch in relation to this document. My overall thesis examines the bodies, costume, props and spaces of performance that are included in the mise en scene of a Beckett play. The argument I make is that although traditionally the body in a Beckett play is thought of and written about as not being tied to a specific time, place, or culture; that in reality there can be no representation of a body onstage, or anywhere else that is not intimately embodied in and tied to a specific time, place and culture. I use three interconnecting methodologies to explore the issues surrounding and integral to the cultural inscriptions on the body and spaces of performance in relation to Beckett's dramas. These methodologies are phenomenology, as expressed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, intercultural theatre with particular reference to Rustom Bharucha and Philip Zarrilli, and Peggy Phelan's discourse on the 'marked' body. My physical training in New York in the 1980s is traced through the prism of phenomenology and my twenty-five year international practice through the prism of intercultural theatre and the 'marked body' in order to help contextualize and analyse this Practice as Research exploration of Act Without Words 11. The 'incultured' body and spaces of performance are interrogated through the aesthetic prism of the disenfranchised, ie the drug addicted, or homeless oflrish society, as expressed through the placing of the play on the street today. The full text of the play, as in the actions, characters, props, light and space of performance is assessed from within the critical writing available and also from a deconstruction of the text itself. The practical placing of the play on the streets is described and assessed in terms of its efficacy to achieve the interactive insertion of this piece of 'high art' into the architecture and social life of the public spaces of the city.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available