Please join us for an exciting lecture in the Craig Young Scholars Series!
Teresa Kovacs, University of Michigan
Staging the Ruinous: Abandonment, Decay, and Destruction in Contemporary Performances
Contemporary theatre and performance are deeply entangled with abandonment, decay, and destruction. While publications on ruin and ruination in other disciplines like urban studies, literature or visual arts have steadily increased within the last years, theatre scholars have thus far failed to analyze the implications of ruins for contemporary performance practices. I argue that German-language theatre since the second half of the twentieth century has been uniquely shaped by decomposition. In focusing on the theatrical texts of Heiner Müller and Elfriede Jelinek and their stagings and musical arrangements by Heiner Goebbels, Dimiter Gotscheff, Dieter Kaufmann, and Johan Simons, I will grapple with the following questions: Which concepts of theatrical temporality are connected to decay? How do humans relate to their ruinous surroundings and how is this relationship transformed into the theatrical structure? How do we perceive the ruinous performance?
Teresa Kovacs is a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan (Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship, FWF). Her current book project deals with performative practices that evolve around decay manifested themselves between Renaissance and contemporary theatre and performance. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Vienna with a dissertation on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Secondary Drama,” which won several awards. Publications (Selection): Drama als Störung. Elfriede Jelineks Konzept des Sekundärdramas (transcript 2016), Schreiben als Widerstand. Elfriede Jelinek & Herta Müller (Praesens 2017, co-ed. with Pia Janke), Postdramatic Theatre as transcultural Theatre (Narr 2018, co-ed. with Koku Nonoa), Schlingensief-Handbuch (in preparation, Metzler 2020, co-ed. with Peter Scheinpflug and Thomas Wortmann).
The Craig Young Scholars Series is made possible by the generous support of Dr. Charlotte M. Craig and Colonel Robert B. Craig.