The 2011 Festival of Original Theatre conference sponsored by the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama at the University of Toronto will focus its discussion and praxis entirely on the field of Post-Colonial theatre. The 2011 F.O.O.T. festival is designed to reflect the multi-cultural diversity of the city we inhabit, and to encourage an integrative approach between the theoretical and practical. The festival intends to promote and discuss contemporary trends in the emerging field of post-colonial performance studies as it relates to contentious issues ever-present in various cultural/multi-racial communities (such as race, marginality, migration, agency and hegemony).
As Helen Gilbert and Joanne Tompkins contend, “Post-colonial theatre’s capacity to intervene publicly in social organisation and to critique political structures can be more extensive than the relatively isolated circumstances of written narrative and poetry.” It is therefore imperative that work be done on the relatively unique nature of performativity in post-colonial theory; particularly since much of poco criticism routinely overlooks drama.
A variety of overarching themes may be explored within the context of this year’s festival and its relation to post-colonial performance such as the use of dramatic language (vocal and visual as expressed through the performing body), the arrangement of theatrical space and time, and the manipulation of narrative and performative conventions of drama. Within this field, there will inevitably be a focus on the connections between form and content that a politicised approach to theatre always recognises.
Some specific areas of discussion may include (but aren’t limited to):
• Re-appraising the Traditional (eg, Ritual, Carnival)
• Contesting the Canon and Counter-Discursive Strategies
• The Issue of Marginality and the Use of Theatrical Space
• Feminist Post-Colonialist Ruptures
• Ethnicity, Race and the Problem of Theatrical Identity
• The Problematic Positioning of Language and Spoken Dialogue
• Mimicry and ‘Performing Back’ to the Empire
• Magic Realist Theatre and its Association with Post-Coloniality
• Characterising Conflict and Colonial Subjectivities
• Rendering the Post-Colonial Body and its Appearance on Stage
• The Emergence of Globalization and the Post-Post-Colonial Theatre
• “In-between Space” and Hybridity
• Ethnographic Inquiries into Post-Colonial Performance
• Transculturation and the Effects of Competing Multiple Theatrical Discourses
Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by September 10, 2010 to Festival Director Dalbir Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include full name, email, affiliation status (student, faculty, independent scholar/artist) and a 50-word bio.
Performance Proposal Requirements:
This year, the 2011 Festival of Original Theatre is specifically interested in involving the Toronto theatre and performance community within this festival’s activity. We are eager for this festival to reflect the diversity of the city, and the artists who live here.
Artists interested in submitting performances that broadly address the themes of marginality, race, migration, hegemony, agency, etc., are invited to submit their proposals to the 2011 F.O.O.T. Performance committee. We are looking for:
1. Staged readings of new works by emerging and established playwrights (not exceeding 45 mins).
2. Innovative Performance Projects.
3. Workshop Productions
4. Re-mounts of productions that directly address our themes.
Artists whose work reflects a mandated concern with diversity are encouraged to apply.
For artists interested in submission, please employ the following guidelines:
1. A Project Description – the type of performance you are planning for this project, and how participation in FOOT 2011 will benefit the development of this project (1 Page max).
2. Artistic Statement – What you want to accomplish with this project and its relationship to postcolonialism (ie, the themes of migration, hybridity, race, hegemony, etc.). We are not looking for sophisticated theoretical abstracts on this connection. We wish for the artists merely to display that their work relates to the larger themes of the conference, and contributes a perspective. If your work addresses a tangential theme that you still insist is relevant for consideration, please explain (1 page max).
3. Script or Working Document. Companies/artists that are interested in the presentation of re-mounts, workshop productions, or staged readings are encouraged to submit a writing proposal. Artists who are interested in the showcasing of performance work should provide a template of what the performance will entail (5 page max).
4. Bios of participants.
Please direct submissions as well as any questions and concerns to Festival Director, Dalbir Singh at email@example.com. Submissions for Performances are DUE SEPTEMBER 20th, 2010.
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