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Title: (Re)directing the text : politics & perception in the work of Katie Mitchell & Thomas Ostermeier
Author: Fowler, Benjamin Brynmor
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 1751
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis investigates the practice of two contemporary theatre directors. Thomas Ostermeier in Germany, and Katie Mitchell in Britain, have forged careers that have brought them recognition across Europe, and Mitchell is now a regular guest director at Ostermeier’s Schaubühne theatre in Berlin. Crossing cultural borders, their work affords the opportunity to investigate national discourses and compare critical trends. This thesis considers their trajectories over the last twenty years, from their training in a newly unified Europe through to prestigious invitations to bring their mature work to national and international festivals. More importantly, it argues that these are directors whose creativity remains rooted in the literary and dramatic canon. At every turn their innovations have been stimulated by new textual sources, prompting them to develop work that investigates politics, gendered subjectivities and issues of form. Examining their uses of Chekhov and Ibsen to probe questions of perception and cognition, this thesis tracks their developing interest in consciousness. Whereas Ostermeier focused his exploration using early modern text (Shakespeare), Mitchell used the modernist literary novel (Virginia Woolf) as the basis of an intermedial reinvention of form. Through the close analysis of key productions, this thesis explores issues of production as well as reception. It investigates why their particular uses of text and technology have bemused or antagonised critics and scholars, and interrogates their commitment to drama, to realist praxis, and to modernist concerns in a cultural moment where postdrama and the postmodern predominate. Although these are practitioners committed to the investigation of interests that many regard as untimely, this thesis argues that the reactionary, in their hands, is the radical.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater