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Witness OnstageDocumentary Theatre in Twenty-First-Century Russia$
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Molly Flynn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526126191

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526126207

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Called to the stand

Called to the stand

The origins of Russian documentary theatre

(p.26) 1 Called to the stand
Witness Onstage

Molly Flynn

Manchester University Press

Chapter 1 narrates the history of documentary theatre in Russia. Though the emergence of the form is traditionally traced back to a series of Royal Court workshops on verbatim playwriting in 1999–2000, this chapter refocuses the form’s own particular heritage, considering that Russia’s twenty-first-century documentary theatre-makers draw on the example of such twentieth-century theatre artists as the Symbolists and the post-Vampilov generation, in that they share a distinct investment in blurring the boundaries between lived experience and its theatrical representation. Situating Russia’s documentary theatre practice within its national and international historical context, Chapter 1 presents a framework within which to consider why the form came to prominence in the first two decades of the new millennium and explores how it operates in its particular cultural and temporal space.

Keywords:   Verbatim, Royal Court, Late Soviet playwriting, Russian Symbolism, Teatr.doc, New Drama

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