Staging Plays from the Terezin Ghetto Today: Incorporating Historical Context into the Performance

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27 March 2018 - 5 PM

Lisa Peschel (University of York)

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During the 40-month project Performing the Jewish Archive, we experimented with type of performance, which we called co-textual performance, to try to generate more intense audience engagement. That is, when we attempt to re-stage scripts written by Jewish authors during World War II, the historical context is one of the most important aspects of the plays. We argued that present-day spectators would be more engaged if they knew the historical background, but how to best present it? We proposed that performed scenes regarding the history, which would be presented as ‘co-texts’ – that is, incorporated into, and just as important as, the script itself – would be more effective than more traditional pre-show talks or program notes that treat the historical information as context. In this talk I describe how we created co-textual performances and how we tested their effect on the audience.

About

Colloquia on Modern Jewish History

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The colloquia are intended to provide a platform for academic discussion about the latest research on Jewish history especially of the last three centuries. Though primarily focused on the Jews of central and east central Europe, the colloquia also include topics related to the Jews of other regions. The colloquia will be further enriched by including topics not directly concerned with Jews, but enabling one to see Jewish history from other perspectives (for instance, the perspective of other ʻminoritiesʼ).

Despite our preference for the methods of historical research, the organizers welcome multidisciplinary approaches to the topics, including those of sociology, political science, religious studies, and art history.

Among the people leading the colloquia are scholars from institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad, senior scholars as well as PhD students.

The colloquia are held in the library of CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1 always at 5 p.m. The language of the colloquia is English. The colloquia are organized by Kateřina Čapková (capkova@usd.cas.cz) and Michal Frankl (michal.frankl@gmail.com).

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