Dan Rebellato and Kim Solga explore the ethics and aesthetics within Katie Mitchell’s oeuvre. Solga considers the inherent feminist politics of Mitchell’s work, and Rebellato places it within the historical context of naturalism, leading to a detailed discussion of Sarah Kane’s radical naturalism and Mitchell’s production of Cleansed.
Emeritus Professor of Drama at Kingston University, Colin Chambers, provides an overview of Political Theatre – a term applied to theatre which refers to, comments on, or wishes its audience to intervene in political issues and events. Chambers explores the various definitions that Political Theatre has adopted over time and questions if theatre really has the power to change society.
In this encyclopedia entry, Jan Cohen-Cruz and Mady Schutzman provide an insight into the history, theory and practice of Augusto Boal (1931-2009) - the endlessly energetic and innovative Brazilian theatre activist, theorist, thinker, maker, and city councillor. He is best known for a set of exercises and their political-philosophical underpinnings dubbed Theatre of the Oppressed, which was acclaimed for its social relevance, collective problem solving, and the opportunity for people struggling with oppression to become proactive in their own liberation.
Joan Littlewood (1914-2002) ran what was probably Britain’s only genuine modernist avant-garde theatre company, Theatre Workshop, founded in 1945. Littlewood wanted to combine all the arts of performance into a new dramatic form, and to forge an ensemble capable of realizing it. They would be able to present any play so dynamically that even the theatrically-illiterate would respond, and would relate their response to the political situation, to their social identity and history.