Sharing Midnight: National and Generational Perspectives on a Theatrical Journey Through Japan and Australia

Author: Alex Vickery-Howe

  • Thesis download: available for open access on 27 Feb 2018.

Vickery-Howe, Alex, 2014 Sharing Midnight: National and Generational Perspectives on a Theatrical Journey Through Japan and Australia, Flinders University, School of Humanities and Creative Arts

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Abstract

Abstract This study focuses on performance for and by young people at the intersection between national identity and generational identity. The study began by researching the different national perspectives surrounding the contemporary Japanese/Australian theatrical production Once Upon a Midnight. As the production developed, generational difference became a strong discourse inside and outside the rehearsal room, leading the participants to reassess their cultural assumptions. This thesis demonstrates that when interculturalism is explored in relation to contemporary performance by established artists and academics, the emphasis is primarily on national-cultural factors with less regard for generational-cultural factors. When emerging artists and academics enter the discussion this emphasis is reversed. The study explores Once Upon a Midnight's festival background and the playwright's introduction to national-cultural debate through the works of Edward Said, Rustom Bharucha and Noel Grieg. It further incorporates the generational-cultural perspectives raised by Mark Davis and Ryan Heath, and develops through the work of Rob White and Johanna Wyn, Mary Bucholtz, Bryan S. Turner, and Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim, highlighting the production's position as a cultural artefact situated within conflicting frames. The study then goes on to chart the development of Once Upon a Midnight itself from character and story creation, and the pop cultural references running beneath the text, into thematic decisions that would impact not only the play's narrative, but the cast and creative team's discussions inside and outside rehearsal as generational-cultural conflict became the overarching journey.

Keywords: Interculturalism,Generationalism,Transculturalism,Theatre,Japan,Australia
Subject: Drama

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2014
School: School of Humanities and Creative Arts
Supervisor: Jonathan Bollen