Recycling the theatre classics: Ibsen, Strindberg and Shakespeare

Recycling the theatre classics: Ibsen, Strindberg and Shakespeare

A Lecture Performance
October 18th, 2016, 10 am–4 pm

Venue: Nordic Centre,
Fudan University,
Shanghai

Register by email to clara@nordiccentre.net with the subject heading Lecture Performance. Attending is free. 

During the last decades Scandinavian theatre has evolved a discussion about different relations to the classics and about the representation of women in playwriting as well as on the stage. This development is partly based on an increasing number of contemporary female dramatists being represented in the repertoire. In a parallel movement classic plays by e.g. Ibsen and Strindberg are rewritten or deconstructed in order to question traditional or misogynist representation of femininity in the theatre. This leads to the interesting question of how contemporary gender constructions and performances differ from the ones that were typical of the literature and theatre during the so-called Modern Breakthrough in Scandinavia. 

Our intention is to discuss and practically exemplify this issue. In the format of a performance lecture, including scenic presentation and lectures, we will theoretically and historically investigate and demonstrate how femininity is represented and gender is performed in relation to classic texts of the Modern Breakthrough and to contemporary Scandinavian and European performance art.

In this approach we will examine how two classic plays, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, are recycled and used as a starting point for contemporary narratives and performances. 
Chinese author Lu Xun (What Happens After Nora Leaves Home?, 1923) as well as Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek (Nach Nora [What Happened after Nora  Left her Husband?], 1979) has recycled the fate of Nora. 
In her play Romeo and Juliet Post Scriptum (2013), recently performed in Sweden, Rome, and Edinburgh, Swedish playwright Annika Nyman investigates how Shakespeare’s romantic love affair could be adapted to and framed by contemporary media ideals.

In order to obtain a multitude of perspectives in our investigation, we will, with the help of the actors Maja-Stina Johansson Wang and Björn Dahlman, present some scenes from the plays discussed. 

Annika Nyman, Playwright and PhD student, Malmö Theatre Academy
Rickard Schönström, Professor, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University
Kent Sjöström, Associate Professor, Malmö Theatre Academy


LUND UNIVERSITY, SWEDEN