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Spontaneity and Repetition: Towards Immanence in Text-based Performance

Romanello, F (2020) Spontaneity and Repetition: Towards Immanence in Text-based Performance. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This study proposes repetition as an underlying principle of theatrical performance alternative to representation. It outlines, both in theory and in practice, a method to trim a certain type of intention away from representation, and to apply what’s left, namely repetition, in the process of staging the pre-written text. The aim is to achieve a new ‘aesthetics of spontaneity’ in the passage from text to performance. This aesthetics is new insofar as it employs artificial means to facilitate spontaneous reactions on the part of the actor, under the assumption that the predetermination of intentions, intrinsic to certain modes of theatrical representation, can hinder such reactions. How can repetition be allowed to operate so as to foster spontaneity in the interplay between a given (dramatic or postdramatic) composition and its performance? The research explores the idea of composition as an ‘inscribing practice’, manifesting not only on the page, but also onstage, through a mode of fixing and arranging physical and vocal actions so they can be repeated. Extending Deleuze’s theorizations of Difference and Repetition (Deleuze 2014, first published in 1968) to theatrical performance, I shall demonstrate how spontaneity can be accessed through the performative power of repetition to create ‘difference’, namely to trigger a new reality not as the result of a designed will to novelty, but as the sprouting of spontaneous reactions to the repeated composition. Initially, the study investigates whether the text itself can stimulate the actor’s spontaneity in performance, by means of certain characteristics embedded in the writing. Later, the focus of the investigation shifts from writing to performing: to an exploration of ways of approaching text in general, alternative to representation, capable of producing spontaneous reactions. The practice elements are therefore two: an individual research into writing for performance, and a collaborative research into acting the text.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: dramaturgy; repetition; immanence; spontaneity; text-based performance; drama; theatre; Deleuze
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Screen School
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2020 12:33
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 10:39
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00014127
Supervisors: Frieze, J, Harrison, C and Graham, E
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14127
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