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Taking the Bard to the Bush: Environmental Shakespeares in Australia


Gaby, R, Taking the Bard to the Bush: Environmental Shakespeares in Australia, Shakespeare, 7, (1) pp. 70-77. ISSN 1745-0918 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Rosemary Gaby.

DOI: doi:10.1080/17450918.2011.557501


Much Shakespearean stage history and performance analysis focuses on productions staged in indoor spaces, but since the nineteenth century outdoor productions have become increasingly popular around the world, and they provide some interestingly varied modes of interaction with the worlds constructed through Shakespeare's verse and prose. Whereas conventional theatre buildings tend to isolate the performance event from the physical and social world outside, open-air productions cannot be cocooned from the places in which they are staged and inevitably perceptions of the locale become an integral part of the performance experience. Audiences at an open-air production experience the ambiguities of simultaneously responding to the imagined locations suggested by Shakespeare's poetry and prose, the production's attempts to represent those locations through lighting, costumes, properties and scenery and also, crucially, to the particular characteristics of the space chosen for performance and the sense of place associated with it. In Australia the distance between Shakespearean settings and local space is glaringly conspicuous, yet in recent years many companies have attempted to mount productions in unusual locations, beyond the familiar spaces of city parks and gardens. Focusing on the work of Victorian company, Ozact, this paper considers the emergence of environmental Shakespeare in Australia and its search for synergies between place and play.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:The Tempest, Macbeth, Pericles
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Performing arts
Research Field:Drama, theatre and performance studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The performing arts
UTAS Author:Gaby, R (Dr Rosemary Gaby)
ID Code:70219
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2011-06-08
Last Modified:2018-02-13
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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