- Editor's Note
This issue of the journal serves as a useful reminder of the impressively broad purview of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. The issue spans a number of ongoing and emerging theoretical and critical endeavors that further cultivate our understandings of theatre and performance. The articles take up examples that are contemporary and historical with an attention to theatrical production and dramatic texts, and I am particularly pleased with the ways the authors in this issue argue for dramatic theory that might find traction off the stage and outside the theatre. Even as the performances and artists under consideration are drawn from a wide variety of areas and eras, the issue as a whole reminds us that theatre works in, on, and through society and culture.
Jeannine Murray-Román's article, "A Manifesto on Making Space in Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music," takes Mac's famous durational work as an occasion to explore performance as a social practice that is sustained through collective meaning-making and collaboration. Murray-Román thus examines queer pleasure as means of endurance and as a way of navigating and creating new forms of and identifications with time and space. The article impressively engages Mac's performance through first-person, narrative criticism that opens theoretical considerations of spectatorship, endurance, and political participation and solidarity. This work sits in dialogue with Amy Muse's article: "Sarah Ruhl's Woolfian Essay-Play vs. the Play of Ideas: Let's Talk about How to Transcend a Happy Marriage." The article addresses critical complaints that reassert the primary importance of plot and invites us to rather reflect on the significance of theatre that emphasizes what Muse refers to as "wandering, wondering, and idea-inebriated pleasure." Such material opens collective conversations, Muse argues, allowing us to think through and with each other in the theatre.
We're quite pleased to offer another theatre artist interview in this issue, and we repeat our invitation for more contributions of this sort. Andrew Barker has offered up an excellent example of the ways that interviews or dialogues with theatre artists can contribute to the literature of dramatic theory and criticism. Barker's essay and interview, "Human Histories Onstage: A Conversation on Collaboration with Naomi Wallace & Marcus Rediker," explores history, Marxism, and abolitionist activism, centering on Wallace and Rediker's collaboratively written project, The Return of Benjamin Lay. Barker's introduction sets the stage for a conversation with Wallace and Rediker that spans the politics of representation, historical theatre-making, and the labor of collaboration.
This issue also features a special section on theatrical intimacy, edited by Joy Brooke Fairfield. The section is timely and taps into vital concerns for anyone working in and thinking about theatre and performance. As Fairfield noted in her call for papers for the special section: "this moment urges serious reckoning with the past as well as the future. How have consent violations become normalized in our [End Page 7] field for centuries and what might it look like without them?" Indeed, the authors in this special section have taken up this call and theorized many practices that are emerging in the field, while critiquing those that have been maintained despite the ways they might forward racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, and capitalist agendas. The special section is an important development for the fields of theatre and performance studies, and Fairfield's work as editor has instrumentally moved these conversations toward crucial questions. This topic and these discussions, which necessarily involve both theatre and performance artists and scholars, must only continue, and JDTC very much welcomes contributions for future issues that respond to and advance our thinking and practices related to these matters.
This is Jocelyn Buckner's last issue as Book Review Editor. The journal is incredibly grateful for her excellent work over the past years. She has used the section to highlight new and innovative work in theatre and performance studies, and we will miss her editorial vision and expertise in the role. We are excited to welcome Angela Ahlgren as the incoming Book Review Editor. Angela will assume the role with the next issue...