New performance, text and the return of the auteur
An international conference
Theatre and performance have long been preoccupied with the problem of authorship. In recent years we have seen a ‘return to writing’: not only with the phenomenon of ‘new writing’ – Kane, Ravenhill, Crimp, amongst many others – but also the return to writing within performance work as instanced by practitioners including Claudia Castellucci with Societas Raffaello Sanzio, Robert Lepage with Ex Machina and Tim Etchells with Forced Entertainment. Beyond the return of the author narrowly conceived, debates about authorship have been ongoing in all areas of theatrical production: isn’t, for instance, the sceno-graphic inscription of the stage a form of authorship? What of choreo-graphy? Not to mention the rise in autobio-graphical performance? And what forms of authorship are being innovated via the appropriation of social networking platforms, new technology and the involvement of non-theatre participants in performance work by companies such as Blast Theory, Rimini Protokoll and The Builders Association?
The aim of this conference is to raise an old question, but in a timely and relevant fashion – once again we ask: what is an author?
We invite you to consider, respond to, reject or rejoice in a return to authorship.