Knowles, Richard Paul
Theory: Towards a Materialist
pp. 9-23
Knowles, Richard Paul, (2004) Reading the material theatre, 1st edition, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press
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Course of Study: DRA2064 – Performance and Interpretation
Title: Reading the material theatre
Name of Author: Knowles, Richard Paul
Name of Publisher: Cambridge University Press
1 Theory: towards a materialist semiotics
A wide range of material factors frame, contain, and contribute to
the ways in which audiences understand theatrical productions.
This book will outline a practical approach to the analysis of
contemporary English-language theatrical productions, one that
attempts to take into account what Marvin Carlson calls “the entire theatre experience.”1The objective is to develop, articulate,
and apply to contemporary theatrical practices and productions
in the English-speaking world a “materialist semiotics” which
combines a cultural materialist approach as it has developed in
Britain with theatre semiotics as it has evolved in Europe and
North America. The goal is to articulate and apply a method
for achieving a more precise and more fully contextualized and
politicized understanding of how meaning is produced in the
Traditional ways of analyzing drama and theatre have tended
to focus on what happens on stage or in the script, assuming
that theatrical scripts and productions “have” universal meaning that is available for interpretation by audiences anywhere.
They treat theatrical performances as the autonomous works of
individual creators, products of the determinable intentions of
playwrights, directors, and other theatre artists, in which specific meanings are contained and communicated with greater
or lesser clarity across the footlights to anyone, anywhere, who
cares to receive them. This is the principle on which international
tours, co-productions, and festivals function. Most of this work
operates on the assumption that artistic inspiration transcends
what are considered to be the accidentals of historical and cultural context, that it speaks across various kinds of difference to
our common humanity. In doing so, however, such work tends in
the interests of what is understood to be universal truth to police
10 Theory and practice
the norms and commonsense understandings of dominant cultures, and to efface significant cultural and material differences
based on such things as national, political, cultural, and geographical location, together with class, race, ethnicity, gender,
and sexuality.
I am interested here, however, in developing modes of analysis that consider performance texts to be the products of a more
complex mode of production that is rooted, as is all cultural production, in specific and determinate social and cultural contexts.
I would like to consider theatrical performances as cultural productions which serve specific cultural and theatrical communities at particular historical moments as sites for the negotiation,
transmission, and transformation of cultural values, the products of their own place and time that are nevertheless productive
of social and historical reification or change. I want, that is, to
look at the ways in which versions of society, history, nationality, ethnicity, class, race, gender, sexuality, ability, or other social
identities can be both instantiated and contested, to different
degrees, in a given performance text. And I want to look at the
degrees to which the transgressive or transformative potential of
a particular script or production functions on a continuum from
radical intervention and social transformation to radical containment (that is, the control of transgressive elements in society in
the interests of the reproduction of the dominant order). Which
end of this continuum each production tends towards will depend, in part, on the material conditions, both theatrical and
cultural, within and through which it is produced and received,
conditions which function as its political unconscious, speaking
through the performance text whatever its manifest content or
My focus, then, is on the ways in which the cultural and ideological work done by a particular production may be seen to
have been mediated by the cultural and, particularly, theatrical
conditions through which it has been produced by theatre workers, and through which its meaning is produced (as opposed to
being merely received, or interpreted) by theatre audiences. Included in this project are considerations of such things as, on the
one hand, the conditions of theatrical production, which include
the training, traditions, and practices of directing, acting, design,
Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 11
and technical theatre, as well as such working conditions as the
institutional and professional structures of theatrical organization and funding, the structures of stage architecture, rehearsal
and backstage space, and venue, and the histories, mandates, and
programming of producing theatres. They also include conditions of reception such as the spatial geographies of theatrical location, neighborhood, auditorium, and audience amenities, and
the public discourses of the producing theatres, including publicity materials, programs and posters, previews, reviews, and
the discourses of celebrity. Each of these conditions, to varying
degrees in each instance, can involve its own internal contradictions, reinforcing or undermining particular significances or
systems of signification; together they relate to one another in
varying degrees of congruence or conflict, and these contradictions and conflicts can provide the opportunity for a range of
contestatory or resistant readings. And, of course, all of these
conditions function within larger social, cultural, and historical
contexts, as meaning is shaped directly, performance by performance, by the local, regional, national and global events of the
1. Materialism and semiotics
In trying to develop a mode of performance analysis for contemporary theatre in English, a materialist semiotics that accommodates different social, cultural, and theatrical modes of both producing and receiving theatrical productions, I am attempting to
bring two established theoretical approaches productively to bear
on one another. On the one hand, the reading practices loosely
gathered together under the name “cultural materialism”2provide a model for locating cultural production including the production of theatre — within its historical, cultural, and material
contexts, and for the politically engaged analysis of how meaning
is produced within what Antonio Gramsci, who might be considered the patron saint of cultural materialism, called “the theatre
industry” as early as 1917.3 Cultural materialists, however, have
only rarely focused since Gramsci on the specific practices and
conditions of production in the contemporary theatre, and, as
Keirnan Ryan points out, they have rarely managed to model
12 Theory and practice
practices of “really close reading” of particular theatrical productions in particular places.4 Theatre semiotics, on the other hand,
which emerged in Prague in the 1 930s and re-emerged in Europe
in the 1 960s, 70s, and 80s as an attempt to systematize the reading of theatrical codes, has largely fallen into disfavour, primarily because of its increasingly scientistic and taxonomic focus on
the interaction of different signifying systems in the theatre:5in
its increasing concern with the systematic identification of intersecting signifying categories, it, too, failed to provide a practical
model for the close reading of specific and culturally located performances. Taken together, however, informed by work done in
cultural studies and theatre studies on the reception of media
and theatrical productions,6 and applied to specific productions
thickly described — that is, described in rich and fully contextualized detail, taking their larger function within their own cultures into account’ — the two approaches can inform a materialist
semiotics that can illuminate the cultural work done by particular productions. Through a combination of theoretical rigour
and located reading, they can provide a model for site-specific
performance analysis that takes into account the specifics and
politics of location.
2. Cultural materialism
The principles of the type of analysis that has become known
as “cultural materialism” are succinctly outlined by Jonathan
Dollimore and Alan Sinfield in their brief general editors’ foreword to the 1980s series “Cultural Politics,” published by
Manchester University Press, and the articulation of the broad
project remains, in spite of subsequent developments and refinements, fundamentally valuable and intact.8Defining “cultural”
in the analytical, anthropological sense as “the whole system of
significations by which a society or a section of it understands
itself and its relations with the world,” and “materialism,” in opposition to “idealism,” as an insistence “that culture does not
(cannot) transcend the material forces and relations of production,” Dollimore and Sinfield outline an approach that “sees texts
[including, here, performances] as inseparable from the conditions of their production and reception in history; as involved,
necessarily, in the making of cultural meanings which are always,
Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 13
finally, political meanings” (ix). “Cultural materialism does not
pretend,” they insist, “to political neutrality”:
[It] does not … attempt to mystify its perspective as the natural or obvious interpretation of an allegedly given textual fact. On the contrary,
it registers its commitment to the transformation of a social order that
exploits people on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality, and class. (x)
Cultural materialism, then, is explicitly concerned with resisting
interpretative discourses of the universal and individual, and in
paying rigorous attention rather to the realms of the historical
and the social, which are, as Sinfield notes, “where meaning is
made by people together in determinate conditions and where it
might be contested.”9
In the introduction to his book-length analysis of the theory
and practice of cultural materialism, Scott Wilson follows
Dollimore and Sinfield in structuring his argument around “the
four elements that, in uneasy alliance and fluctuating variation, make up the main strands of cultural materialist practice:
historical context, theoretical method, political commitment, and
textual analysis,”I° and it is these “elements” that provide the
frame for my own approach. “Historical context,” Dollimore and
Sinfield explain, “undermines the transcendent significance traditionally accorded to the literary text and allows us to recover
its histories” (vii). But while cultural materialists have tended to
focus on the historical contexts for the study of cultural productions of the past, most notably the early modern period and the
late nineteenth century, my own focus here is on historicizing
the here and now, and on resisting historical teleologies, myths
of progress that see the present as the natural state of things,
the logical culmination of historical evolutionary development.
To historicize the present does involve undermining claims for
transcendent significance, but it also involves resisting any naturalized understanding of the writing of history as the construction
(and completion) of the justificatory autobiographical narratives
of nation and community, masked as the objective or transparent
recording of historical fact.
Part of this historical project involves the development of a theoretical method, or critical and methodological self-consciousness,
in which the critic is her- or himself explicitly located and
implicated in history. The critic, that is, consciously brings

14 Theory and practice
something — an approach, a politics, a purposefulness, or a way of
thinking other than supposed objectivity and neutrality — to the
object of analysis. And cultural productions therefore exist and
perform their work in a shifting and unstable relationship to the
critic, whose position, like that of the work itself, is shaped by social, historical, and cultural determinants. “Theoretical method
detaches the text from immanent criticism which seeks only lo
reproduce it in its own terms,” Dollimore and Sinfield argue
(vii), and it simultaneously constructs a critical (as well as social
and historical) framework from which to engage the text or performance. The critic, therefore, must necessarily locate him- or
herself historically, and must acknowledge a lack of critical objectivity, a political commitment which, for the cultural materialist,
is necessarily a commitment to the transformation of the social
order. Convinced that cultural productions, both theatrical and
theoretical (or critical), “have a material function within contemporary power structures” and “behave in a direct and meaningful way within contemporary social and political formations,” as
John Brannigan says, cultural materialists work to expose “cracks
and contradictions in the system to allow for some oppositional
The final element in Dollimore and Sinfield’s formulation,
“textual analysis,” which they say “locates the critique of traditional approaches where it cannot be ignored” (vii), is one to
which the practice, as opposed to the theory, of cultural materialism has demonstrated a somewhat intermittent commitment,
often focusing more on context than text, more on the politics
of (selective) representation than on detailed’analysis. As Wilson
argues, ” [s]ince cultural materialism has now little institutional
need or desire to court the attention of close readers, the commitment to ‘textual analysis’ has waned.” 12 I am interested in this
aspect of the approach here, however, because I am attempting
to determine precisely what cultural work specific theatrical productions do. I am attempting to develop a method that brings the
analysis of the material conditions for the production of meaning to bear on the close reading of specific performances in the
contemporary theatre. Such a method understands the entire
theatrical experience as a “reading formation,” in which “neither text nor context,” as Tony Bennett says, “are conceivable as
entities separable from one another.”13In any case, in theatre as
Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 15
“reading formation” the problem of textual analysis is complicated by the nature of the “object of study,” which may or may
not, strictly understood, be “textual,” and which functions at the
intersection of a wide range of fleeting, unstable, and impermanent visual, aural, and verbal signifying systems. The theatrical
“reading formation,” then, becomes “text” — or “performance
text” — only as it is translated from raw event into discourse by
criticism (including the spectators’ recollected experience) as the
constructed object of analysis — what I have therefore chosen in
my title to call “reading.”
3. The semiotics of drama and theatre
Which brings me to the subject of theatre semiotics. As Ian
Watson has noted, the “concept of performance as text, and
its implication that there is an act of reading involved in theatrical production, has its roots in literary semiotics.” 14Semiotics emerged early in the twentieth century from the work of
Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and American philosopher
Charles Peirce, whose work concerned itself with developing “a
science dedicated to the study of the production of meaning in
society” and was “equally concerned with processes of signification and with those of communication.”15 Saussure’s primary
contributions were to provide an analysis of the sign itself, the
basic unit of communication, as consisting of a material signifier,
on the one hand (such as the letters or sounds that constitute a
written or spoken word), and on the other a signified, or mental
concept; and to provide an understanding of sign systems, such
as languages, from which individual utterances derive their meaning relationally. Crucially, as Elaine Aston and George Savona
indicate, “the two sides of the linguistic sign are arbitrary, which
enables language to be a self-regulating, abstract system, capable
of transformation. It is through the interplay of similarities and
differences between signifiers that meaning is created.”16Peirce,
on the other hand, and crucially in the development of a not narrowly textual theatre semiotics, classified sign-functions in three
categories: iconic (indicating a sign that is linked to its object
through similarity, as in a photograph, or in the use of a chair on
the stage to represent a chair in the fictional world); indexical (denoting a sign that indicates, or points toward its object as smoke
16 Theory and practice
does to fire, or a knock on the door does to the presence of a
visitor); and symbolic (indicating a sign that is linked to its object
through convention alone).’?
The application of these theories to the theatre as a sign system emerged in the 1930s and 40s through the work of the
Prague School, where the principle was established that everything within the theatrical frame is a sign, that within that frame
each of these signs acquires significance as a sign that it does ‘
not have in everyday life, and that together these signs constitute
a complex and elusive symbiosis. Roland Barthes later labeled
this symbiosis that uniquely constitutes the theatre “a kind of cybernetic machine,” “a density of signs” that Watson refers to as
“a complex ostension of interrelated visual and aural images.”I8
Not surprisingly perhaps, much of the activity of theatre semioticians in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s involved the identification
and classification of the various interconnected “languages of
the stage,” as scholars categorized and classified signs relating
to text, mise en scene, character, actor, gesture, space, design,
structure, context, and intertext, and established the principle of
reading performances as texts (rather than simply as the more-orless ephemeral interpretations of dramatic texts, or scripts). This
work also included, crucially, in the work of Marco de Marinis,
the establishing of the difference between the theatrical performance as event and the “performance text.” The latter was understood by de Marinis as the activity of the critic, or reader, in
(re)constructing the performance, translating it into the frame
of another discourse and rendering it legible (“readable”) and
mobile — allowing it to travel beyond its originary context as a
“theoretical object.”19
Theatre semiotics as it developed in the 1970s and 80s was
criticized on the grounds that performance resists reduction to
mere textuality.2° It was argued that the immanence of the theatrical event as event, as performance, or as phenomenon, and
as received by audiences exceeds the sum of its sign value as
text.21 Theatre semiotics in its 1970s and 80s manifestations
was also criticized for its tendency to treat the theatrical event
as contained within the discourses of the producers and the architectures of the stage, and for failing to consider three crucial
factors: the larger social and theatrical contexts within which performances occur, the semiology of audience response, and the
Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 17
iconic (in Peirce’s terms) relationship between theatre and the life
(or material world) it represents. It is these last three failures that
were addressed by Marvin Carlson in two books, Places of Performance (1989) and Theatre Semiotics (1990) which, in attempting
to shore up the field of theatre semiotics, moved it into productive relationship with other theoretical approaches, most notably
phenomenology and cultural materialism. Carlson’s work is particularly important to the development of a materialist semiotics
insofar as he argued that such things as “[tjhe physical appearance of the auditorium, the displays in the lobby, the information
in the program, and countless other parts of the event as a whole
are also part of its sennotic,”22 and that these things as well as the
events on stage shape audience reception which is nevertheless
by no means passive.
4. Theatre audiences, cultural studies,
and the production of meaning
Precisely how audiences produce meaning in negotiation with
the particular, local theatrical event, fully contextualized (what
Carlson calls “Local Semiosis and Theatrical Interpretation,”
in a section of Theatre Semiotics usefully called “Audience Improvisation”), has only rarely been analyzed or modeled in any
detail, even by Carlson, and this is the role that the case-studies
in Part Two of this book are intended to play. Considerable effort has been made in literary studies, however, to theorize reader
response, in work that has been usefully analysed, interrogated,
adapted, and applied to theatrical performance by Susan Bennett
in Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception. And
models of materialist analysis of audience “use” of popular cultural productions emerged from Cultural Studies in the 1970s
and 80s in applied studies of audience response undertaken by
David Morley, Janice Radway, Ien Ang, and others. The shared
assumption underlying all of this work is that cultural productions neither contain meaning nor uni-dimension ally shape behavior and belief; rather they produce meaning through the discursive work of an interpretative community and through the lived,
everyday relationships of people with texts and performances.
Crucially for the purpose of bridging the gap between cultural
materialism and semiology, these projects pursued the political
18 Theory and practice
objective of identifying ways in which, and degrees to which,
popular audiences “answered back,” activating meaning in their
own interests rather than functioning simply as media dupes.
Virginia Nightingale’s 1996 book, Studying Audiences, provides a
valuable survey and analysis of this work, and extends its reach
in ways that are both fully congruent with Carlson’s work and
share some of his vocabulary – arguing, for example, that “the
audience-text relation operates along a continuum from impersonation to improvisation.”23
This Cultural Studies work on audience response was theorized by Stuart Hall in two influential 1980 articles, “Encoding/
decoding” and “Cultural Studies: two paradigms.” Hall’s essays
concerned themselves directly with the politics of the sign and
the politics of reception, linking semiotics and materialist theory by making connections and observing disjunctions between
the ideologically coded material conditions for the production of
signs and the similarly coded material conditions in and through
which those signs are received, decoded, interpreted, and used.
He outlines a model of production, circulation, use, and reproduction for the analysis of televisual significations in which power
relations at the point of production loosely fit, but do not strictly
reproduce, those at the point of “consumption,” reproducingwith-a-difference societally dominant hierarchies. Crucially for
Hall – and this is where his work fits with cultural materialism –
that difference necessarily allows some space, however limited
and constrained, for use or reading against the grain. Hall’s work
is useful here for the ways in which, in application to the theatre,
it provides a model for bringing together the cultural and specifically theatrical relations of the production of signs (what Hall
calls “encoding”) – which I have identified as training, rehearsal
processes, professional and institutional structures, stage and rehearsal hall architecture, and the technologies of theatrical production-with relations of reception (what Hall calls “decoding”) –
within which I have included the discourses of publicity and
marketing, the geographical location and physical amenities of
the theatre, and the larger and local cultural context (the technologies of reception) – that frame “the entire theatre experience.” Indeed, it is possible to extrapolate from Hall’s work a
model of performance analysis that fleshes out the triangular
model with which this book began, and considers a triangular
Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 19
formation in which conditions of production, the performance
text itself, and the conditions for its reception, operate mutually
constitutive poles:
Performance Text
(script, mice en scene, design,
actors’ bodies, movement and gestures, etc.
as reconstituted in discourse)
$7 1\\
Conditions of production
(actor, director, designer training
and traditions, rehearsal process,
working conditions, stage and
backstage architecture and amenities,
historical/cultural moment of
production, etc.)
As is clear from this expanded model, each pole of the triangle is constituted by multiple and multiply coded systems of
production, systems of communication, and systems of reception, all working in concert or in tension both within their own
“corner,” and along the axes that hold the poles together and
in tension with one another. “Meaning” in a given performance
situation – the social and cultural work done by the performance,
its performativity, and its force – is the effect of all of these systems and each pole of the interpretive triangle working dynamically and relationally together. The degree to which reception
is (pre)determined by culturally dominant contexts and mechanisms of production, and the degree to which resistant meanings
are available, depends upon the amount of productive tension
and slippage within and among the corners.
Most performance analysis, including theatre semiotics, has
concentrated its attention almost exclusively on one corner of
this interpretative triangle: the Performance Text. This work considers varying interpretations of different plays, or different theatrical interpretations of a single play, usually understood to be
the work of a particular director or company (rather than the
production of a particular cultural context or set of theatrical
conditions). It most often ignores crucial local specificities of
production and reception. But when the Almeida production
of The Iceman Cometh was read differently by different audiences, fissures appeared, and the divergences in meaning might
most obviously be attributed to different conditions and cultures
Conditions of reception
(publicity/review discourse,
front-of-house, auditorium, and
audience amenities, neighborhood.
transportation, ticket prices,
historicaVcultural moment of
reception, etc.)
20 Theory and practice Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 21
of reception. Performance analyses that fail to take these differences into account are in danger of as significant misreading
as analyses that fail to take into account conditions of production. Reviewers in such respectable journals as Shakespeare Quarterly, or The Shakespeare Bulletin, for example, routinely compare
and evaluate with no awareness of category slippage, stagings of
Shakespeare at classical (and classically trained) repertory companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company with one-off
productions by smaller-scale companies with different design
and training regimes, such as London’s Cheek by Jowl, or by
international co-production consortiums such as those coordinated and orchestrated by Robert Lepage’s Ex Machina, which
has no “home” theatre and mounts productions exclusively for
international tours and festivals.
This book, then, is designed to consider conditions of production, under the broad categories, first, of training and tradition,
and second, of working conditions, within and through which
performance texts come into being and make themselves available to be “read”; and conditions of reception, spatial and discursive, within and through which audiences perform those readings and negotiate what the works mean for them. What follows
in Chapter Two attempts to identify and isolate, in the tradition
of theatre semiotics, some of the dominant signifying elements in
the contemporary English-language theatre, and to analyze them,
in the tradition of cultural materialism, as the apparently neutral
and value-free but nevertheless deeply coded ideological unconscious of theatrical production. Drawing examples from a range
of productions and theatre companies in England, Scotland,
Ireland, Canada, and the United States, it attempts to demonstrate some of the ways in which the most common material conditions operating in contemporary English-language theatre tend
to function as taken-for-granted delivery systems of the theatre
industry. Such systems profess neutrality and aspire to invisibility, but they silently-carry considerable ideological weight that
can work to reinforce, complicate, or undermine the conscious
“thematic” content of the work (and the stated intentions of its
This book relies as heavily as it does on located analysis and
case-study work because it is only in its application and in
negotiation with specific and located “objects of study” that a
materialist semiotics of theatrical production and interpretation
can fully or usefully be developed and articulated. Indeed fundamental to the approach is the materialist, cultural studies principle that theory must always be practiced and practice theorized,
with theory and its application understood as being mutually
constitutive and emerging from particular, local contexts. As a
theoretical method, that is, materialist semiotics is differently
constituted in and by its different social, cultural, and theatrical
applications, even as the method itself differently constitutes in
each case the various performance texts that are its objects of
The research methodologies that might be expected to accompany such a theoretical approach, however, are more problematic in practice than in principle, particularly when it comes to
providing evidence of the ways in which productions have been
read, and the specific ways in which the material conditions of
production and reception have shaped those readings. This book
concerns itself with these questions in four ways. First, it limits
the range, not only of productions, but of actual located performances under discussion, almost exclusively to ones that I have
seen myself, as a culturally positioned spectator moving from
site to site to see and analyze different performances, and investigate them both within their local contexts of production and
within various contexts of reception. Secondly, it draws heavily
on local reviews of the same productions in different places, contextualizing and locating the reviewers themselves within their
cultural and journalistic settings, and considering them neither
as consumer reporters nor aesthetic judges, but as providers of
evidence of receptions and interpretations — readings — that were
enabled by particular local stagings for specific local audiences.
Thirdly, the book shifts the focus of its research by taking into
account my own, reviewers’, and occasionally others’ interpretations and responses, not as evidence of what audiences-in-general
felt and understood— and therefore what the performance “really
meant” — but as evidence of meanings and responses that specific
performances in particular locations made available. Reviewers’
and others’ responses, then, serve as evidence of what readings were more or less possible or likely as negotiated meanings
for particular audiences, critics, reviewers, and — as a test case
across different performances of the various productions under
22 Theory and practice Theory: towards a materialist semiotics 23
study — myself, as a Canadian academic and theatre director traveling between sites. And finally, as an essential part of the overall
project, I consider audiences themselves to be constructed and
performed, particularly in terms of class, race, gender, sexuality,
ability, and other social positions, by the mutually constitutive
technologies of production, performance, and reception that I
am studying, rather than, as most social science-based methodologies do, as independent agents operating somehow outside of
the loop.
Reading the Material Theatre, then, and the “materialist semiotics” that it articulates and puts into practice, is concerned with
the meanings — the social and cultural work — produced and performed by theatrical productions in negotiation with their local
audiences in particular cultural and theatrical settings and contexts in the English-speaking theatrical world.24Although it employs a theoretical method, then, of self-conscious and invested
analysis, it does not attempt to create a theoretical template that
can be applied to performance analysis in any context; rather
it attempts to articulate and demonstrate an open-ended practice in which the theoretical approach, “object of study,” and
theatrical and cultural contexts are each both malleable and mutually constitutive. What follows in Chapter Two isolates, articulates, and interrogates the most common practices and conditions, primarily theatrical, that obtain in the English-language
theatre, and draws examples of the specific ways in which particular practices, traditions, and conditions have shaped meaning
in a range of contemporary productions emerging from various
national locations. The chapters in Part Two attempt to narrow
the focus but deal in more thickly described detail with some
of the ways in which theatrical and cultural determinants have
worked together (or against one another) in specific instances. I
have selected productions from a single decade, recent enough to
resonate with the contemporary, but distant enough to allow the
cultural contexts for the productions to have registered and to allow sufficient critical distance on my own responses as well as on
contemporary reviews and critical accounts. I have quite deliberately chosen to focus on a variety of shows and theatre companies
in which contextual circumstances are highlighted in localized
readings. This happens either because of unique material conditions of production, such as repertory staging (as at the Stratford
Festival, Ontario), or by the opportunities for controlled comparative analysis of shifting conditions for reception provided
by touring, festival performances, co-productions, remounts, or
transfers — where the initial conditions for production remain
essentially unchanged, but where the shows are read, received,
and interpreted in and through different material, cultural, and
theatrical contexts.

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Our Services

Papers Owl has stood as the world’s leading custom essay writing services providers. Once you enter all the details in the order form under the place order button, the rest is up to us.


Essay Writing Services

At Papers Owl, we prioritize on all aspects that bring about a good grade such as impeccable grammar, proper structure, zero-plagiarism and conformance to guidelines. Our experienced team of writers will help you completed your essays and other assignments.


Admission and Business Papers

Be assured that you’ll definitely get accepted to the Master’s level program at any university once you enter all the details in the order form. We won’t leave you here; we will also help you secure a good position in your aspired workplace by creating an outstanding resume or portfolio once you place an order.


Editing and Proofreading

Our skilled editing and writing team will help you restructure you paper, paraphrase, correct grammar and replace plagiarized sections on your paper just on time. The service is geared toward eliminating any mistakes and rather enhancing better quality.


Technical papers

We have writers in almost all fields including the most technical fields. You don’t have to worry about the complexity of your paper. Simply enter as much details as possible in the place order section.

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