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Title: In place of a show
Author: Corrieri, Augusto
Awarding Body: Roehampton University
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2013
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In Place of a Show is written to function both as a creative writing project and as a critical-theoretical enquiry. It focuses on the once dominant architectural and aesthetic apparatus associated with Western theatre since the Renaissance: the théâtre à l’italienne, or the European opera house. An enclosed space, functioning according to specific conventions embodied in its form (curtains, stage, proscenium arch, auditorium, balconies, etc), this construction has long been dismantled and abandoned. And yet, might its very ruination signal a persistence of sorts? What kind of potentialities – material, imaginative, historical – might lie within empty or unused theatres? Each of the four chapters focuses on a particular building, linking its specificities to broader questions around the persistence of the theatrical apparatus: 1. A baroque opera house in Munich, meticulously dismantled during the WW2 bombings and later reassembled on site, prompts questions over the theatre’s preservation as a means to obscure historical destruction. 2. A chapter on London’s Dalston Theatre, demolished in 2007 to make way for a shopping and residential complex, explores how a theatre might be seen to “linger” after it is gone, subtly manifesting within sites and structures that bear no apparent relation to it. 3. During a visit to the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza I witnessed a swallow flying beneath the auditorium’s sky-painted ceiling; the flight of the bird reconstitutes the otherwise empty theatre as a place for inhabitation and co–presence. 4. Based on a trip to the Teatro Amazonas in the North Brazilian city of Manaus, the chapter explores the interplay between theatre and non-human nature, reflecting on the opera house’s construction at a time when Manaus was supplying most of the world’s rubber. What emerges in the writing is a building unlinked from its “proper function” i.e. the staging of performances. The focus falls on the promissory force held by walls, seats, curtains, and the micro-events taking place within and without the building. What happens in a theatre when nothing is happening? What occurs in place of a show?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available