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Title: Assembling differences : towards a Deleuzian approach to intercultural theatre
Author: Liang, Wen-Ching.
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis examines instances of intercultural theatre seen on the Anglo stage, and aims at the purpose of a broader reading of the Chinese cultural elements applied in these productions. Working with a series of concepts related to what Deleuze and Guattari call "assemblage," a new approach is developed to observe intercultural theatre. Previously, intercultural performance has often been examined from a viewpoint that focuses on the problems of cultural identity and authenticity. While not disagreeing with the questions raised by such a perspective, this thesis seeks to develop new ways to make sense of the often found contradictory trajectories in intercultural. theatre. Three productions are studied in this thesis. Peter Sellars's adaptation of a classic Chinese play, Peony Pavilion, sets out to describe the modern life of Asian Americans. Most often, a production like this is assessed according to the degree of deviation from the classic presentation. In contrast, my discussion of this production explores cultural boundaries that define the female leads and the music composed by Tan Dun. Yellow Earth Theatre's Lear's Daughters provides another occasion to unravel how tiny elements from different dimensions can be connected from afar and form bigger assemblages. The third production, Play to Win, also by Yellow Earth Theatre, deals with issues regarding young East Asian people in Britain. The concept of "becoming-minor" is applied in order to comprehend the novelty in such a play and to reject the conventional approaches of identity politics when it comes to ethnic issues. Taking up these Deleuzian concepts is an attempt to delineate intercultural theatre with a flexible route to locate divergent cultural elements in one single performance. In doing so, the thesis constructs a way to see a theatre production not as a representation of real life but a presentation or formation of singular events.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available