Mediatised dramaturgy: formal, critical and performative responses to mediatisation in British and Irish plays since the 1990s

Ilter, Seda (2013) Mediatised dramaturgy: formal, critical and performative responses to mediatisation in British and Irish plays since the 1990s. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis responds to a tendency in contemporary theatre practice and scholarship to overlook play texts when exploring the media-‐theatre relation. It challenges recent shifts in critical discourse concerning the mediatisation of theatre: the growing artistic and academic emphasis on performance; and misconceptions about postdramatic theatre as a non-‐textual form and the text’s presumed inability to accommodate the new reality of mediatised culture and consciousness. In light of this, the thesis examines the impact of media technologies and culture on a selection of British plays written since the 1990s, exploring how they negotiate a media-‐saturated culture in both form and content. I introduce the concept of ‘mediatised dramaturgy’ to describe the shifts in the fabric of plays due to omnipresent mediatisation. I argue that mediatised dramaturgy is present not only in texts that overtly use media forms, but also in aesthetic subtleties that echo the phenomenon of mediatisation without direct reference to the mass media. The thesis also considers the reception of these plays in selected productions in order to gauge British theatre’s ability to respond to their dramaturgical challenges.

Chapter 1 examines Martin Crimp’s No One Sees the Video (1990), Mark Ravenhill’s Faust is Dead (1996) and Enda Walsh’s Chatroom (2004) as ‘dramatic’ plays, arguing that thematisation of mediatisation without formal engagement limits the plays’ ambit. Chapter 2 explores the workings of mediatised language in Patrick Marber’s Closer (1997), Crimp’s Attempts on Her Life (1997) and Sarah Kane’s Crave (1998) to suggest language use in ‘no-‐longer-‐dramatic’ texts speaks to altered ontological and epistemological conditions of the media-‐saturated, globalised world. Chapter 3 assesses the impact changing modes of subjectivity and interpersonal relations have had on the presentation of character by analysing Tim Crouch’s My Arm (2003) and An Oak Tree (2005), and Simon Stephens’s Pornography (2007). This chapter argues that they destabilise the dramatic model of characterisation in order to engage with the heterogeneous and objectified nature of contemporary subjectivity. Lastly, Chapter 4 focuses on Douglas Maxwell’s use of videogame in Helmet (2002) and the televisual aesthetics of Caryl Churchill’s Heart’s Desire (1997), exploring how different approaches to remediation in plot structure affect the plays’ capacity to relate to mediatised socio-‐cognitive conditions. The thesis demonstrates that plays, on the page and in performance, have undergone significant change, proving that the old medium of text is capable of responding to the mediatised age.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 11:51
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:50

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