University of Tasmania
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The bastard performer : an exploration of the actor/performer experience in a postdramatic and posthuman intermedial contemporary theatre and performance ecology

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posted on 2023-05-28, 08:26 authored by Jackson, CR
This practice-led research project explores the challenges and experiences faced by the contemporary actor/performer in rehearsal and performance, with specific reference to intermediality, multi-tasking, the intersection of acting/performance styles and interdisciplinary modalities. Over the last few decades, with the increasingly rapid integration of media technologies into performance, we have found ourselves at another catalytic point in performance history. We are racing to keep up with the possibilities and potentiality presented to us by technology, media and the power of new 'linguistic' relationships (Chatzichristodoulou and Crossley 2016) associated with them. The interaction between these different technologies and the performer onstage presents myriad opportunities and potentialities for aesthetic and artistic purposes ‚Äö- an intermedial exchange between the media provided in and of the performer themselves. The actor/performer's ever evolving identity and practice is again thrust into a state of flux; forced to navigate and negotiate new hierarchical systems; creative terrain; modal vocabularies; and yet again the question: which image of their 'selves' is the dominant note in the polyphony of identity and (re)framing of the 'performer'? They are largely left 'in the woods' to fend for themselves, marginalized (Hamilton 2008) and bastardised. This research project predominately regards the actor/performer within an intermedial and multimodal postdramatic performance setting. Referencing contemporary practitioners such as Katie Mitchell, Complicite, GobSquad and iv contemporary theorists such as Chiel Kattenbelt, Sarah Bay-Cheng, Robin Nelson, Margaret Hamilton, Andy Lavender, Brigit Wiens, Philip Zarrilli, and Tadashi Suzuki among others. It explores where the actor/performer sits within this emergent genre overrun with possibilities and hierarchical shifts? What is the experience of an actor/performer within these challenging intermedial works? How does an actor/performer 'prepare' for working in such complex conditions, in order to be an active participant in the creative conversations at play within such works? Ultimately, this research project examines how the performer interfaces with intermedial performance; and proposes a mode of practice in which the performer can embrace and be empowered to be an active creative entity in concert with the extension and augmentation of their 'organic' abilities through multimedia, technology and (re)mediation present in these platforms ‚Äö- through a posthuman approach to performance.


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Copyright 2018 the author

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