Aural/Oral Dramaturgies: Post-Verbatim, Amplified Storytelling and Gig Theatre in the Digital Age

Published on by Duška Radosavljević
This 24-month long research project engages with an increasingly apparent prominence of speech and sound in the 21st century theatre and performance. Postulating that the aural aspects of speech, sound, voice and sound design emerge to replace the late 20th century dominance of literary textuality (new writing) and/or corporeality (physical theatre) as the primary dramaturgical motors in live performance, the project argues that this renewed interest should be viewed paradigmatically. The internationally discernible paradigm includes works specifically designated here as ‘post-verbatim’ (Nic Green’s Cock and Bull, Valentijn Dhaenens’ BigMouth and SmallWar, Oliver Frljic’s Damned Be The Traitor, Turbofolk), works using mics and headphones and therefore referred to as ‘amplified storytelling’ (Rotozaza’s Etiquette, Kieran Hurley’s Beats, Chris Brett Bailey’s Are You Deaf Yet), and works known in the UK as ‘gig theatre’ (Middle Child’s All We Ever Wanted was Everything, Kae Tempest’s Brand New Ancients, Arinze Kene’s Misty, Lola Arias’ Minefield). In the course of the Fellowship, Duška Radosavljević worked with the Post-Doctoral Research Associate Flora Pitrolo on the interdisciplinary project which involves original field research in performance-making as well as networking and public engagement activities. In partnership with London-based Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), relevant artists were selected through an open call to form part of the primary research. Research findings will be disseminated through a project website, podcast, a special journal issue, a monograph, and a set of workshops and masterclass recordings. The accompanying digital collection 'Lend Me Your Ears' has been created in collaboration with Flora Pitrolo, sound producer Tim Bano, video editor Juan Salazar and website designer Beatriz Cabur as an open access feature. The project was designed with the input of the V&A staff with tan interest in the use of aural dramaturgies in curatorial practice. As part of the project Central’s Course Leader in Voice Studies Jane Boston has collaborated with former Central graduate Sitandile Dube on creating a voice-finding podcast workshop series. AHRC Fellow: Duška Radosavljević PDRA: Flora Pitrolo Partners: Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) Digital Theatre Plus (DT+) Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) Artists selected for the BAC/Central Artists’ Residency: Gracefool Collective Sair Goetz Silvia Mercuriali SK Shlomo Project collaborators: Tim Bano and Jane Boston Steering Group: Lynette Hunter Gay McAuley Trish Reid David Roesner Bambo Soyinka AHRC ref: AH/S010750/1

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AHRC Leadership Fellowship Aural/Oral Dramaturgies AH/S010750/1