Making contemporary theatre

International rehearsal processes

Edited by Jen Harvie and Andy Lavender

Making contemporary theatre

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7492-9
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: July 2010
  • BIC Category: The arts / Theatre studies, Theatre Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, Theatre studies, Theatre Studies
  • Series: Theatre: Theory - Practice - Performance


Making contemporary theatre reveals how some of the most significant international contemporary theatre is actually made.

The book opens with an introductory chapter which contextualises recent trends in approaches to theatre-making. In the ensuing eleven chapters, eleven different writer-observers describe, contextualise and analyse the theatre-making practices of eleven different companies and directors, including Japan's Gekidan Kaitaisha and the Québécois director Robert Lepage. Each chapter is enriched with extensive illustrations as well as boxed-off 'asides', giving the reader different perspectives on the work. Chapters usually focus on a single production, such as Complicite's 2003-04 The Elephant Vanishes, allowing detailed investigations of complex practices to emerge. The book concludes with a brief manifesto for making contemporary theatre by the editors, plus a bibliography suggesting further reading.

Making contemporary theatre is a rich resource for the theatre-making student and the theatre-goer alike, full of diverse examples of how the most exciting theatre is actually made.


'Consistently insightful and instructive.'
Roger Bechtel, Theatre Survey, 54 (1) 2013


PREFACE: Andy Lavender
Witnessing postdramatic theatre-making
Jen Harvie
1.The Builders Association: Super Vision (2005)
Digital dataflow and the synthesis of everything
Andy Lavender
2. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: Myth (2007)
Mapping the multiple
Lou Cope
3. Complicité: The Elephant Vanishes (2003/04)
'The elephant and keeper have vanished completely. They will never be coming back'
Catherine Alexander
4. Elevator Repair Service: Cab Legs (1997) to Gatz (2006)
Reversing the ruins: the power of theatrical miscomprehension
Sara Jane Bailes
5. Forced Entertainment: The Travels (2002)
The anti-theatrical director
Alex Mermikides
6. Rodrigo García and La Carnicería Teatro: Une façon d'aborder l'idée de méfiance [One Way to Approach the Idea of Mistrust] (2006)
Approaching mistrust
Lourdes Orozco
7. Gekidan Kaitaisha: Bye Bye: the New Primitive (2001)
Theatre of the body and cultural deconstruction
Adam Broinowski
8. Robert Lepage and Ex Machina: Lipsynch (2007)
Performance transformations and cycles
Aleksandar Sasa Dundjerovic
9. Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players: The End of Reality (2006)
Exploring acting
Sarah Gorman
10. Not Yet It's Difficult: Blowback (2004)
Unmaking Blowback - a visceral process for a political theatre
Peter Eckersall
11. Luk Perceval: Platonov (2006)
Rules for a theatre of contemporary contemplation
Zoë Svendsen
POSTSCRIPT: Andy Lavender and Jen Harvie


Jen Harvie is Reader in Theatre and Performance in the Drama Department at Queen Mary, University of London. Andy Lavender is Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Dean of Research at the Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

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