Theatre of Real People offers fresh perspectives on the current fascination with putting people on stage who present aspects of their own lives and who are not usually trained actors. After providing a history of this mode of performance, and theoretical frameworks for its analysis, the book focuses on work developed by seminal practitioners at Berlin's Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) production house. It invites the reader to explore the HAU's innovative approach to Theatre of Real People, authenticity and cultural diversity during the period of Matthias Lilienthal's leadership (2003-12).
Garde and Mumford also elucidate how Theatre of Real People can create and destabilise a sense of the authentic, and suggest how Authenticity-Effects can present new ways of perceiving diverse and unfamiliar people. Through a detailed analysis of key HAU productions such as Lilienthal's brainchild X-Apartments, Mobile Academy's Blackmarket, and Rimini Protokoll's 100% City, the book explores both the artistic agenda of an important European theatre institution, and a crucial aspect of contemporary theatre's social engagement.
About the Author
Dr Ulrike Garde is Senior Lecturer in German Studies at Macquarie University, Australia. Her research interests range across Intercultural German Studies, German literature and the performing arts. Her publications include Brecht & Co: German-speaking Playwrights on the Australian Stage (2007). Dr Meg Mumford is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research focuses on social engagement, intercultural exchange, and the politics of performing bodies, particularly with regard to theatre from Germany and Australia. She has published extensively on the work of playwright-director Bertolt Brecht, and is the author of Bertolt Brecht (2009).The authors co-edited Rimini Protokoll Close-Up: Lekturen (2014) together with Johannes Birgfeld, as well as the 2015 issue of Performance Paradigm on the arts and effects of non-professional theatre performers.