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Title: Performing change? : contemporary performance practices in Morocco
Author: Jay, Cleo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6231
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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The present thesis explores dynamics between the contemporary theatre scene in Morocco and the social and political fields through a close analysis of selected plays and performances. Over the last two decades, Moroccan theatre has emerged as a powerful tool of contestation in the hands of a generation of young artists that had lost faith in the political process. Theatre-makers and playwrights are offering spaces for critical thought and free expression and leading debates on issues as varied as domestic violence, sexual freedom or suicide. In the context of the post-Years of Lead and of the more recent Arab Spring uprisings, theatre is contributing to a renewed sense of political engagement in Morocco, challenging official history and offering alternative visions of society. Inspired by international theatre directors such as Augusto Boal and Bertolt Brecht, Moroccan theatre practitioners are successfully creating or adapting plays that question political discourses and break social taboos, re-invigorating a theatre scene that had been deserted by audiences. I will organise my research around five axes: performativity in Moroccan culture, multilingualism and the redefinition of national identity, the performance of gender and women's rights, theatre as activism, and finally the complex issues of patronage and cultural policy. I aim to investigate the relationships of co-optation and dependence that are created between artists and their sponsors, whether public or private, and look at how artists negotiate these connections in order to deliver their own messages. Ultimately, I examine the power of theatre as a medium for change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral