Swansea University Home - 2009 - 2010

Collaboration with the National Theatre of Wales - 23 April

National Theatre Wales,

 The Centre for the Study of Culture and Politics (Swansea University)
The Callaghan Centre for the study of Conflict, Power and Empire (Swansea University)
Publics, Performances, Participation and Persuasion
A day of discussion and debate

23 April 2010
9.30am - 3.30pm
Reading Room, The Old Library, Alexandra Road, Swansea.

With an election campaign underway – bringing with it all sorts of performances of leadership, authority, authenticity and honesty – now is a good time to think about the theatre of politics and the politics of theatre.
This conference/workshop will be an opportunity for drama and theatre practitioners, artists, political theorists, philosophers, critics, historians and others to reflect on political theatre (its content, form, past, present and future) and on the theatre of politics.
Focusing in particular on the concepts of public, performance, participation and persuasion our discussions will also address questions about the nature of contemporary public space and spectacle and how dramatic arts can contribute to understanding, or transforming them; about the uses of theatre as a way of thinking about and provoking politics; and about the performances of politicians and how dramatic practices can illuminate them.
This event is open to all and is free to attend, but registration is requested (please see below).
9.30-10.00     Arrival and Coffee
10.00-12.00  The Politics of Theatre
In the first half of the day we shall reflect on the politics of theatre. Questions that might be addressed include: What forms can political theatre take? Must a political theatre adopt a particular sort of dynamic or open relationship with its audience? What are the politics of non-political theatre? What kinds of public does theatre bring into being? How can theatre explore and make more clearly known relations between peoples, publics, places and spaces? 
Discussion will be free flowing but with contributions from Alan Finlayson (Swansea University), Prof. David George (Swansea University), John McGrath (National Theatre Wales), Rowan O’Neill, Adam Somerset + colleagues from Aberystwyth Univeristy, Trinity College Carmarthen, Cardiff University and others.  
12.00-1.00  Lunch
1.00–3.00   The Theatre of Politics
This half of the day will focus on the theatre of politics. As the General Election campaign comes to a peak what kinds of performances are our politicians putting on? Is it helpful to see politics in terms of performances? How has (and how might) theatre responded to the spectacle of contemporary politics and can it propose alternative kinds of participation and persuasion?
Discussion will be free flowing but with contributions from Prof. Nikki Cooper (Swansea University), Stephen Donnelly (ShellShock Theatre), Andy Field (Forest Fringe) Mathilde Lopez (National Theatre Wales) + colleagues from Aberystwyth Univeristy, Trinity College Carmarthen, Cardiff University and others.  
3.00-3.30  Discussion of Future Activities
About the Venue
The venue is the reading room of the Old Library on Alexandra Road, Swansea, W Glam SA1. Formerly Swansea Central Lending and Reference Library. It is now part of Swansea Metropolitan University’s Welsh School of Architectural Glass  and has also been a venue for drama ranging from BBC Wales’ Doctor Who to Volcano Theatre’s ‘Shelf Life’, in April 2010.


The workshop/conference is free but in order to plan for the right number we need people to register their intention to attend. Registration forms available from a.finlayson@swansea.ac.uk.


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