chapter  Chapter 8
20 Pages

Performance, community, culture

WithBaz Kershaw

This chapter constructs a theory which will facilitate our investigations into alternative theatre’s potential for efficacy, both at the macro-level of the movement as a whole. It addresses a number of basic questions about the relationships between performers and audiences, between performance and its immediate context, and between performances and their location in cultural formations. Ideology has been described as a kind of cement which binds together the different components of the social order. It has also been likened to plaster, covering up the cracks and contradictions in society. The complexity that contextuality/inter-textuality engenders has driven some theoreticians of drama into a kind of critical reification which claims that only individual interpretations are ultimately possible. The idea of community as a process of ideological meaning-making helps to explain how individual performances might achieve efficacy for their audiences.