Robert Lepage’s original stage productions, Q&A with Karen Fricker

Posted by Bethan Hirst - Monday, 21 Sep 2020


Karen Fricker proudly showing off her new book

1. How would you like someone who has read your book to sum it up in one sentence?

A fresh perspective on the work and career of the celebrated, sometimes controversial, and sometimes misunderstood theatre artist Robert Lepage.

2. What book in your field has inspired you the most?

The Death of Character: Reflections on Theatre after Modernism by Elinor Fuchs

3. Did your research take you to any unexpected places?

It took me to a lot of unfamiliar but welcome corners of contemporary scholarship, from cinema studies, to sociological approaches to branding and commodity, to affect studies and post-Freudian psychology.

4. Which writing process do you use (computer, longhand, dictate, other)?

I write on a Macintosh laptop and revise, revise, revise.

5. Why did you choose to publish with MUP?

I was invited by Prof. Maria Delgado to submit a proposal to her book series Theatre: Theory – Practice – Performance. With the late David Bradby, Maria was the first person to publish an academic article by me (uncoincidentally about Lepage, in the journal Contemporary Theatre Review) and her loyalty and support have been unstinting, and deeply appreciated.

6. What are you working on now?

My current research focuses on the changing nature of theatre criticism in the digital age, and on fashioning new approaches to criticism that move beyond colonial and patriarchal models. I also am the co-director of an ongoing international research project called Circus and its Others, which asks where the subversiveness and counter-cultural nature of circus has gone, now that circus has gone mainstream.

7. If you could go back and give yourself once piece of advice when starting out on this project, what would it be?

Ask for advice from trusted mentors about how to approach the project, and don’t necessarily take everything the proposal reviewers said so much to heart. This advice would have cut down the time from commissioning to publication by about a decade

8. If you could have been the author of any book, what would it be and why?

I wouldn’t aspire to take anyone else’s words or ideas from them!

9. What other genres do you enjoy reading?

Contemporary fiction by women and female-identifying authors.

10. Which authors (academic and not) would you invite to a dinner party?

Elinor Fuchs, Jen Harvie and Deb Kilbride, Sara Ahmed, Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, Tomson Highway, Jesse Wente, Vivek Shraya, Hanif Abdurraquib, Robert Lepage.

Read more about Robert Lepage’s original stage productions

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout