Theatre as a place of self-empowerment

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Westphal, Kristin
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Department of German, University College Cork
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This article examines the theatre as a place of empowerment, with a focus on the post-dramatic collective Gob Squad and their performance of Before Your Very Eyes. What is unique about this study is that it addresses the issue of the classic relationship between the generations and its reversal – here, it is not the adults acting out theatre pieces for the children, but rather children act out how they see the world as children, with the audience made up of adults. The piece plays with notions of time and space, closeness and distance and the interweaving of the theatre and media spaces. The aim of the following reflections is not so much to engage with the various theoretical perspectives on “self-empowerment”, but rather take as their starting and reference point an example of performance practice which created an exceptional event and a community whose peculiar experiences are seen in the context of an understanding of the theatre as a place of self-empowerment which allows for deviation from social norms and rules.
Westphal, K. (2015) 'Theatre as a place of self-empowerment', Scenario: A Journal of Performative Teaching, Learning, Research, IX(1), pp. 131-143.