- Editor’s NoteSpring 2016
What if the aesthetics of a performance or a playwright’s message prevails over the dramatic content of the theatrical event? Our six featured articles explore contemporary forms of theatre—devised and scripted—whose dramaturgies provoke an emotional or critical response in a spectator that exceeds our expectations for representational drama. Two authors frame this spring edition XXX.2 with vantage points from the Pacific Rim: Sharon Mazer examines performance trends in New Zealand’s fringe theatre which foster a community response to identity politics. Catherine Diamond introduces the concept of the hyperobject, suggesting the large scale experience of global warming in her analysis of plays about climate change.
How can theatre performance engage difficult subjects like Alzheimer’s disease, immersing audiences in a sensory experience that simulates dementia? Jane Turner considers the science of sound perception and digital technology at two theatre events which disoriented spectators through altered aural and spatial environments. Cara Berger too focuses on devised theatre—her own practice—to propose a feminist approach to postdramatic form that creates a performance space for what she calls “feminine knowledge.” Sara Freeman, meanwhile, suggests that feminism and post 9/11 geopolitics merge in the dramaturgies of Tony Kushner and Timberlake Wertenbaker, wherein ideas of otherness and the maternal generate a process of “becoming m/other.” In his exploration of plays by the Argentine playwright, Ricardo Monti, Milton Loayza also emphasizes spatial and philosophical planes of being and becoming. He adopts a Deleuzian approach to show how Monti’s aesthetic strategy prompts a critical engagement with the subject matter of political tyranny and crisis, rather than representation.
Our editorial staff is once more in flux. We welcome Christine Woodworth as the new Book Review Editor. Chris is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. To our outgoing Managing Editor, Jeanne Tiehen, I owe my gratitude. Jeanne has served our journal with dedication and meticulous management over two years, while also working as the Subscriptions Assistant. We wish you much success, Jeanne, as you complete your doctoral dissertation and pursue a professional career.
Happy 30th birthday to the JDTC: This year also marks the retirement of John Gronbeck-Tedesco, cofounder of the journal and a dear colleague. Thank you, John, for your dedicated and expert service to the profession over the decades. Finally, I am pleased to note a steady flow of new submissions and an ever-growing group of first rate reviewers for the journal. To our readers and subscribers: we invite your scholarly inquiries, creative explorations of performance paradigms, and innovative essays related to theatre praxis. After all, it is your work that continues to expand our field of study. Please direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.