chapter  23
Site-specific Theatre
ByMike Pearson
Pages 7

Site-specific performance might allow the suspension and transgression of the prescribed practices and bye-laws of theatre, including disturbances of the spatial partition of performance and audience. Equally, it might necessitate the employment of non-theatrical techniques to address and counter the material realities of the site such as its scale, the nature of its surfaces, the distribution of its in-built features. There is little attempt at scenic illusion, at the substitution of theatrical properties and devices constructed in replica forms; rather, fragments of the real world are selected, enter into and are reconfigured in unfamiliar juxtapositions of like and unlike, in assemblages unique to each production, albeit within the selective metonym of performance. Any full description of a site-specific production surely requires as much said about the site and the emplaced scenography as about the themes and dramaturgy, to fully account for what happened: about the specifics of a place, about performance as eco-system.