Contemporary Censorship and Performance

An issue of: Theater

Contemporary Censorship and Performance
Journal Issue Pages: 176 Volume 38, Number 3 Published: 2008 An issue of Theater
Special Issue Editor(s): Tom Sellar, Miriam Felton-Dansky
This special issue of Theater explores the political, cultural, and economic factors that have led to controversies surrounding live performance around the world. Recent global political shifts have resulted in renewed interest in questions of censorship and free expression and have demonstrated that theater has become a cultural third rail, igniting controversy and provoking attempts at suppression. Contributors explore manifestations of theater censorship—from New York to Birmingham (England) to Beirut to Tashkent (Uzbekistan)—and address both direct, state-sponsored suppression as well as the disparate cultural pressures that hamper theatrical expression, such as financial pressures and political, ethnic, and religious sensitivities.

The collection includes an essay that explores the function of live performance in recent freedom-of-expression debates, such as those featuring Janet Jackson and Don Imus, and persistent national anxieties about performers’ bodies. The issue also features an international censorship forum that brings together reports of incidents from Burma, Singapore, Germany, Italy, and the United States. A special report from Zimbabwe provides an in-depth look at the repression of oppositional theater by one of Africa’s most dictatorial regimes while another article looks at REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony, a new musical composition that takes once-silenced voices recorded for South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and transforms them into a hymn for a postapartheid nation. The issue also includes the first publication of an inventive new play that is a satirical as well as chilling look at suppression and dissent in post-9/11 America.

Contributors: Howard Barker, Reverend Billy, Catherine Cole, Mike Daisey, Dean Damjanovski, Miriam Felton-Dansky, Jacob Gallagher-Ross, John Houchin, Rabih Mroué, Freddie Rokem, Tom Sellar, Fadi Toufiq, Praise Zenenga


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Table of Contents Back to Top

1. Up Front: Connecting Dots—Tom Sellar

2. Up Front: Wikiturgy—Jacob Gallagher-Ross

3. Bodily Fear: Recent American Performance Controversies—John Houchin

4. Controlling the Twenty-First Century: Suppressed Theater and Global Change—Miriam Felton-Dansky

5. Reports on Stage Censorship and Suppression—Donesh Olyaie, Freddie Rokem, Colin Mannex, Walter Byongsok Chon, Tom Sellar, Jorge J. Rodríguez, Alex Grennan, Jacob Gallagher-Ross, Brian Valencia, Mike Daisey, Reverend Billy, Howard Barker, Rabih Mroué, Fadi Toufiq, Maya Cantu, Sarah Bishop-Stone, and Miriam Felton-Dansky

6. Censorship, Surveillance, and Protest Theater in Zimbabwe—Praise Zenenga

7. The Rewind Cantata: South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation in Repertoire—Catherine M. Cole

8. Not Clown—Steve Moore and Carlos Treviño

Additional InformationBack to Top
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-8223-6698-0