Engaging Reality and Popular Performance in the théâtre humain of Guy Régis
Abstract

This article discusses the contemporary shift in Haitian popular theatre through a reflection on the words and work of poet, playwright, and performer Guy Régis. Specifically it discusses how Régis’sthéâtrehumainengages spectators in the exploited human reality—the reality of the “NOUS”—arising from contemporary globalization. It does so by relying on delirium, derision, and waste to emphasize the often eclipsed struggles of the disenfranchised and social pariahs. A study of his interviews, essays, and published work for the theatre draws together his creative philosophy and practice, which are Haitian, American writ large, and universally human. The article situates Régis in the context of Caribbean popular performance as well as the specific realm of Haitian theatre, underscoring his connections to SytoCavé, Franck Fouché, and Frankétienne. It also draws attention to his particular transcultural blending of performance languages from Vodou ritual practices, Rara festival making, Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, and the Theatre of the Absurd.


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