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Susanna Weygandt - "From Metaphor to Direct Speech: Teatr.doc and Verbatim Playwriting"
Start Date: 2/10/2015Start Time: 4:30 PM
End Date: 2/10/2015End Time: 6:00 PM

Event Description:
Since 1989 the pioneering Russian New Drama (Novaia Drama) with its new artistic standards for composition has become internationally recognized by Russian and International festivals such as Liubimovka and the Golden Mask. The Liubimovka Festival writes the following about New Drama: “We believe today’s theater to be a unique art form with invincible artistic capabilities and on top of that, it is a sociological phenomenon. We believe that theater can and should help people think about their communities, foster change, and point to a way to overcome recent and longstanding difficulties” (www.liubimovka.ru). A sub-trend known as
Docudrama emerged out of New Drama for the purpose of voicing “direct speech” about societal problems. This movement quickly gathered
followers, who in 2001 established Teatr.Doc in Moscow. There, “speaking directly” refers to the coveted expression of free speech that for once,
after a long history of political suppression, would not result in cancelled shows, or imprisonment.
Teatr.Doc exists independently of government support (nearly the only such established theater in Russia). Not beholden to gubernatorial
patronage, the theater does not hold back from voicing dissent against Putin’s government and Sobianin’s Moscow City Council. Accordingly,
material for these plays, as stated in Teatr.Doc’s Manifesto, includes actual conflicts in contemporary society. Towards this end, Docudrama takes the pen out of the playwright’s hand and puts in it the tape recorder. This instrument has become the main method for collecting facts about current debates. Teatr.doc’s actors interview people of
marginalized social groups whose behavior bears much scrutiny and then re-enact their stories using the speech they have recorded. At first
glance we assume that these recordings have little effect on art. But  he matter actually runs deeper. This presentation will explore the
artistic and political implications of Teatr.doc’s re-enactments of “real life” in the theater.
Location Information:
*Swarthmore College - Kohlberg
Room: Kohlberg 228
Contact Information:
Name: Sibelan Forrester
Phone: 610-328-8162
Email: sforres1@swarthmore.edu
Open To
The Public

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