Dr Christina Papagiannouli Research Seminar

Event Date April 29, 2015 4 p.m.

Location – ATRIUM/ CA A115

Towards a Democratic Theatre: The ‘Radicalization’ of National Theatre Wales

The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning performance screenshot, 27 April 2012.

Referring to the National Theatre Wales (NTW) community blog and the company’s productions, I study the term ‘radicalization’ in a positive way in terms of plural and participatory democracy to discuss the use of the Internet for the re-democratization of theatre.

Similarly to the engagement and interaction of the Ancient Greek theatre community, the NTW Assembly programme uses the community blog as a space for the community of Wales to discuss and vote online to run democratically elected projects (a radicalized form of national theatre that extends the role of the public in decision-making and allows citizens to reclaim theatre as a public good). Moreover, the use of a chat box and the Twitter feed on The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning live streaming website allows the audience to communicate with each other (and with the administrator and the technician of the streaming) and respond to the performance in real time.

The use of the Internet in NTW assists relationships between the local and the global (which is of increasing concern to community-based theatre) and between theatre and non-theatre communities to be developed. Thus, the Internet is evidenced as a successful tool for community-engaging and participatory theatre providing pluralistic spaces for radical participation and engagement through critical interaction.

Towards a Democratic Theatre: The ‘Radicalization’ of National Theatre Wales is part of Dr Christina Papagiannouli’s practice-based PhD research, titled The Etheatre Project. Directing Political Cyberformance, awarded during 2014 by University of East London.

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