Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUC San Diego

The empty center : acting out theatric alliance in three texts by Sarah Kane

  • Author(s): Moshy, Summer Neilson
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation situates Sarah Kane's dramatic work beyond its In-Yer-Face debut productions (U.K.; circa 1995 -2000) and within the larger spectrum of western drama in an effort to introduce a new dramatic vocabulary with which to critically engage with non-traditional dramatic texts. I argue for the establishment of a theatric alliance, which I define as the joining of a text (Kane's in this case) with a contributing narrative for production in an effort to achieve a specific social, political, or theatrical goal. I posit that Kane's carefully constructed dramaturgy includes a conscious invitation, via textual and narrative "gaps," to the theatre artist(s), to participate in this alliance. This collaboration results in a critical alliance with Kane's texts that ultimately re-inspires them as relevant, current, and active pieces of theatre, thereby gaining admission into a myriad of vastly different social and political climates. I discuss the implications of previous contributing narratives that have forged an alliance with Kane's texts including: disabled-led theatre, state-controlled art, mental-illness, and suicide. I extend Wolfgang Iser's literary theory of the implied reader to include an implied reader/performer as well as an implied audience. By engaging with the critical theories of Iser, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Derrida, Mikhail Bakhtin, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and Victor Turner, I argue that the malleability and ingenuity of Kane's texts allows her work to transcend the limits of the media criticism endured during the mid- to late 1990s and be included among the most poignant and astutely engaging theatre in modern drama

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View