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Title: 'In search of a new national story' : issues of cultural diversity in the casting and performance of Shakespeare in Britain, 2012-2016
Author: Thomas, Sita Chandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 1292
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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his thesis examines the contribution of British black, South Asian, and East Asian actors, directors and companies to Shakespearean performance in Britain between 2012 and 2016. Stephen Bourne's Black in the British Frame (2001), British Asian Theatre by Dominic Hingorani (2010), and Colin Chambers' Black and Asian Theatre in Britain: A History (2011), are three important works that trace the artistic contributions by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in British theatre; yet Shakespearean achievements are underrepresented here as well as in the wider body of published academic writing. This thesis aims to record the artistic achievements and cultural presence of non-white practitioners whose work has been marginalised and poorly documented. It aims to investigate the impact of casting practices and directorial interpretations in the representation of BAME communities in mainstream, non-traditional and educational settings. It also aims to contribute to the development of sustained dialogues about, and understanding of, issues of cultural and ethnic diversity in Shakespearean performance. To do this, several extended analytical case studies of historically significant and culturally important Shakespearean performances are provided. The thesis is divided into four sections. The first examines issues of cultural diversity on Britain's main stages, particularly in the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Section two studies the praxis of BAME theatre companies: Talawa, Tara Arts, Phizzical Productions and Yellow Earth. Section three focuses on educational enterprises in mainstream organisations. Section four concludes with reflection and propositions as to how British Shakespearean production might move towards a more sustainable diverse ecology. The approach of this thesis is ethnographic, and draws on a range of sources of data surrounding these productions including archival resources (such as video recordings, production photographs, reviews and prompt books), interviews with practitioners, observations in rehearsal rooms and reports from funding bodies. This thesis examines important productions in recent history, and assesses major issues, problems and pitfalls, as well as models of best practice, in the casting and performance of culturally diverse Shakespeare in Britain 2012-2016.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater ; PR English literature