Adaptation and Walking: Shakespearean Performance in Manila in the First Three Years of Rodrigo Duterte's Presidency (2016-2018)
Date: 26 April 2021
University of Exeter
PhD in Drama
This thesis situates itself within the wider field of adaptation studies, and specifically within Asian and postcolonial Shakespeare studies. The project contributes a novel methodology to analysing the dramaturgy of localised productions. The concept of a localized production stems from the historical/geographical contexts surrounding ...
This thesis situates itself within the wider field of adaptation studies, and specifically within Asian and postcolonial Shakespeare studies. The project contributes a novel methodology to analysing the dramaturgy of localised productions. The concept of a localized production stems from the historical/geographical contexts surrounding the production as well as its predecessors and producers in theatre history. The walking dramaturg is a persona I take on in this method as I investigate how my chosen productions are made local. I found that a deeper awareness of the phenomenology of place and performance adds new dimensions to semiotic and contextual interpretations. Using this method, I have found a hauntological component present in all three of my case studies. The first case study Makbet illustrated the ghostly layers of colonial meaning embedded in the production when placed side by side with an experience of my walks in Intramuros, Manila’s old walled medieval city. The second case study RD3RD showed how I was haunted by the patterns of phenomenological experience. The production and the Heroes’ Cemetery forced me to locate myself within the complexities of Philippine political relationships, histories and ideologies. The third case study The Mousetrap: Anti-Hamlet made apparent the self--imposed barriers drawn by the paranoia of both my experience of walking in Manila and a reflection of my own practice as an artist in Manila in a country whose freedom of speech and expression is currently threatened. Finally, what this project has discovered is a way to identify dramaturgical elements in adaptations of Shakespeare that echo with specific elements of Manila through a method that is able to link the plays with the city. It contributes to Shakespearean adaptation scholarship without centring the canon and postcolonialism as a point of discussion. It contributes to the methods used in analysing translation and adaptation more broadly and offers a point of departure from imperial binaries in syncretic global adaptation studies.
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