Why theatre now? Reflecting on the mix of challenges and opportunities that face theatre in communities that are necessarily becoming global in scope and technologically driven, In Defence of Theatre offers a range of passionate reflections on this important question. Kathleen Gallagher and Barry Freeman bring together nineteen playwrights, actors, directors, scholars, and educators who discuss the role that theatre can - and must - play in professional, community, and educational venues. Stepping back from their daily work, they offer scholarly research, artists' reflections, interviews, and creative texts that argue for theatre as a response to the political and cultural challenges emerging in the twenty-first century. Contributors address theatre's contribution to local and global politics of place, its power as an antidote to various modern social ailments, and its pursuit of equality. Of equal concern are the systematic and practical challenges that confront those involved in realizing theatre's full potential.
Kathleen Gallagher is a Distinguished Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Barry Freeman is an assistant professor and director of theatre and performance studies in the Department of Art, Culture, and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Introduction Taking a Step Back Barry Freeman and Kathleen Gallagher Part I: A Politics of Place in a Global Age Theatre for a Changeable World, or Making Room for a Fire (Barry Freeman) Make What You Need (Dustin Scott Harvey) When You're Up to Your Ass in Alligators... (Edward Little) Part II: Antitode for an Ailing Modernity Politics and Presence: A Theatre of Affective Encounters (Kathleen Gallagher) If You Mingle: Thoughts on How Theatre Humanizes the Audience (Andrew Kushnir) Towards a Theatre of Rich, Poetic Language (Alan Dilworth) The Box That Cannot Be Contained (Catherine Banks) Part III: (En)Gendering Change Recontextualizing (Jackie Maxwell in conversation with Kathleen Gallagher) Performance as Reappearance: Female Blackness in History and Theatre (Naila Keleta-Mae) Unspeakable Vulnerability: Theatre Mattering in Men's Lives (Julie Salverson) Part IV: Breaking Down Barriers It's Time to Profess Performance: Thinking Beyond the Specialness and Discreteness of Theatre (Laura Levin) Including Millennials in the Theatre of the New Millennium (Nicholas Hanson) Convergence Theatre: Necessary Producers (A Dialogue Between Julie Tepperman and Aaron Willis) Are We There Yet? Using Theatre to Promote Positive Interdisciplinary Intercourse (James McKinnon) Thinking Beyond the Boundaries of Theatre, Math and Reality (John Mighton in conversation with Kathleen Gallagher) Part V: Why Theatre Always From Epidaurus to the BackSpace at Passe Muraille: Hard Seats, Real Theatre (Judith Thompson) Sequencing the Shattered Narratives of the Now (Ann-Marie MacDonald in conversation with Kathleen Gallagher) A Small Essay on the Largeness of Light (Daniel David Moses)