Theatre in Wales

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Towards Tomorrow? An International Gathering Exploring     

theatre x performance

6 -10 April 2005
Centre for Performance Research
University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK

The Centre for Performance Research has announced a major international
gathering to explore the future of theatre and performance as part of its
30th anniversary celebrations – 30+10 in Aberystwyth 6-10 April this year.
The event presented in partnership with the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
will include performances from British Muslim stand-up comedian SHAZIA
MIRZA, controversial Australian performance artist STELARC, Welsh physical
theatre company VOLCANO and Irish experimental dance company, IRISH MODERN

Towards Tomorrow? will build upon and extend the dialogues and debates that
CPR has forged throughout its long journey from research laboratory and
theatre company to research centre. It will examine the often complex
relation between performance and theatre with a programme that features many
of the most radical thinkers and practitioners working in performance and
theatre today.

The gathering will include:

· Performances – from Wales, Europe and beyond
· Expositions – understanding the state of play
· Workshops – drawing from the crucible of cutting-edge practice
· Panels and Debates – to challenge and cultivate new directions
· Interrogations and Enthusiasms – Strategic ‘open’ sessions
· Feasts – where food becomes event
· Excursions – taking advantage of our local landscape

Key speakers include world-renowned scholars in theatre and performance
studies such as: inter-cultural critic, Rustom Bharucha (India); Philip
Auslander (USA) and Prof. Susan Melrose (UK), as well as one of the founder
members of radical Royal National Theatre backed performance collective
SHUNT, Mischa Twitchin. Speakers from outside theatre and performance
include the philosopher Alphonso Lingis (USA), the cultural historian Marian
Pastor Roces (Philippines), literary theorist, Prof. Steven Connor and the
independent scholar and author of The Secret Life of Puppets, Victoria
Nelson (USA).

Some of the issues the gathering will get to grips with include:

Temporalities: Then, Now, To Come
· Then: Theoretical discourse has structured and transformed the
environments of theatre and performance. Towards Tomorrow? provides a FORUM
for both a critical reflection on performance and the nature of cultural
theory and to assess its future both beyond and within the academy.
· Now: The event of performance, its practice and presence will be explored.
There will be opportunities for practitioners to interrogate theorists and
for the statement of radical agendas and manifestos.
· To Come: The development of the future of the field belongs to another
GENERATION. This gathering will not determine such a future, but it will be
determined to keep open all possible transformations, evolutions and
revolutions that may be on their way.

Towards Tomorrow? will explore the relation between theatre and performance,
risk and failure, events and institutions to understand how the
possibilities of performance might be considered? Including:

· Is there a fractal structure (a finite area bounded by an infinite
distance) to the discipline, its manifestation as practice and its future,
as yet unknown, transformations? What are the issues of survival of a
discipline and its practice, its organisations, and the relationship with
the academy?
· How does the spiritual aspect of performance – space, body, time and
imagination – integrate and challenge both the formal and the theoretical
articulations of work? Does such a consideration generate its own
eschatology; if so what is the apocalypse of performance?

Questions of tomorrow must also be concerned with generations, the potential
of youth and the energy and vitality it will provide performance in the
future. At the heart of Towards Tomorrow? is a desire to identify with the
youthful curiosity and quest for multicultural theatre and performance
training that drove the founder members of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre.
Towards Tomorrow? will include Generation24 – CPR’s panel of young
practitioners of the future, from schools and colleges in Wales and
internationally, who will observe and intervene in the proceedings with the
interruptive urgency of the future’s call.

Towards Tomorrow? will also see the launch of CPR’s forthcoming anniversary
publication Testimony from the Future, Evidence of the Past. A complementary
publication is planned to reflect Towards Tomorrow?’s deliberations with a
range of international contributions that seek to re-orient the discipline
of performance and to demonstrate its increasing relevance in many areas of
cultural studies, philosophy and the arts.

Towards Tomorrow? has been curated by CPR’s Artistic Director, Professor
Richard Gough and Executive Producer, Judie Christie.

Towards Tomorrow? is open to theatre and performance scholars and scholars
outside from related disciplines – especially those from English Studies,
Cultural Studies and philosophy – as well as performance and theatre
practitioners and those generally interested in the future of the fields.
Further information on how to register can be obtained by contacting CPR on
+44 (0) 1970 622133 or logging on to

Contact Antony Pickthall on 01970 621571 or e-mail

About CPR
The Centre for Performance Research (CPR) is a multi-faceted theatre
organisation based in Wales and working internationally. The CPR produces
innovative performance work; arranges workshops, conferences, lectures and
master classes; collaborates and exchanges with theatre companies of
international significance; publishes and distributes theatre books and runs
a multicultural performance resource centre. CPR has presented major
international artist in Wales, including:


Philip Auslander (USA)
Philip Auslander's primary discipline is Performance Studies. He has written
on aesthetic and cultural performances as diverse as theatre, performance
art, music, stand-up comedy, and courtroom procedures. His specific
interests include performance theory, the relationship of performance to
media and technology, and intellectual property. He is the author of four
books and editor or co-editor of two collections. He is currently completing
a book project entitled All the Young Dudes: Performing Glam Rock. In
addition to his work on performance, Auslander contributes art criticism
regularly to Art Forum, Art Papers, and PAJ.

Rustom Bharucha (India)
Internationally renowned author and activist, Rustom Bharucha is an
independent writer, cultural critic, director and Dramaturge based in
Calcutta. He is author of several books including Theatre and the World, The
Question of Faith, In the Name of the Secular, The Politics of Cultural
Practice and the forthcoming Rajasthan: An Oral History. Apart from
directing classics like Woyzeck, Peer Gynt, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The
Maids, and most recently, Shakuntala, in different inter/intra-cultural
contexts, he has conducted workshops with underprivileged communities like
working children and agricultural labourers. A member of the international
advisory council of the Prince Claus fund for culture and development, he
remains committed to the translation of cultures across social and political

Alphonso Lingis (USA)
Alphonso Lingis is Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University. His
areas of specialization include phenomenology/existentialism, modern
philosophy and ethics. His reviewers and critics have called Alphonso Lingis
everything from a "poet in disguise" to a "brilliant philosopher."

Paul Carter (UK/Australia)
Paul Carter was born in Oxford, England 1951. He was educated at Oxford
University, and worked and lived in Italy and Spain before coming to
Australia in 1980. He is currently resident in Melbourne where he is a
Professorial ARC Research Fellow at the Australian Centre at University of
Melbourne (1994-8 & 1999-2003)

Steven Connor (UK)
Steven Connor is Professor of Modern Literature and Theory at Birkbeck
College, London. He is a writer and broadcaster for radio and the author of
books on Dickens, Beckett, Joyce and post-war British fiction, as well as of
Postmodernist Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989, 2nd edn 1996), Theory and
Cultural Value (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of
Ventriloquism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) and The Book of Skin
(London: Reaktion, 2003).

Dragan Klaic (Serbia)
Dragan Klaic teaches Arts and Cultural Policy at the University of Leiden
and serves as a Permanent Fellow of Felix Meritis Foundation (Amsterdam).
Educated in dramaturgy in Belgrade and with a doctorate in theater history
and dramatic criticism from Yale University, Klaic has been lecturing widely
in Europe and America, took part in numerous conferences and symposia and
worked as theater critic, dramaturg, festival and production advisor,
editor, researcher and trainer.

Victoria Nelson (USA)
Victoria Nelson is an independent scholar living in California. She has
taught at the University of California at Berkeley, at the University of
Hawaii, and was the Edelstein-Keller Writer in Residence at the University
of Minnesota. The author of a travel memoir about Hawaii, an exploration of
creativity, and a co-translator of Bruno Schulz's letters, she has also
published many pieces of short fiction and essays and most recently the
acclaimed, The Secret Life of Puppets.

Patrice Pavis (France)
Patrice Pavis, Professor of Theatre at Paris-VIII University, has written
extensively and influentially on performance. He is currently giving the
2005 Leverhulme Lecture Series at the University of Kent.

Jane Goodall (UK)
Author of Artaud and the Gnostic Drama, and most recently, Performance and
Evolution in the Age of Darwin, (2002 Routledge). Jane Goodall has held
positions at several Australian Universities, teaching drama and
performance, cultural history and history of science. She currently teaches
in Humanities at the University of Western Sydney and is Research Director
for the College of Arts, Education and Social Sciences.
"Meticulously researched and wittily told, Goodall's history of the curious
crossbreeding between popular entertainment and the protocols of bscience is
a delightful read. Brilliantly rethinking the division between the arts and
sciences, Goodall makes clear the mutant hybrids at the core of nineteenth
century spectacles of performance and science. Performance and Evolution is
an exhilarating revision of the histories of science and popular
entertainment." Peggy Phelan, Ann O'Day Maples Chair in the Arts, Stanford

Freddie Rokem (Israel)
Prof. Freddie Rokem is Dean of the Faculty of the Arts and Professor of
Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University. He has published articles in
scholarly journals and chapters in books on European and Israeli theatre.

David Williams (UK)
David Williams is Professor of Theatre, Dartington College of Arts, Devon,

Susan Melrose (UK)
Susan Melrose, M ès L, DEA, Doctorat (Sorbonne Nlle) is Professor of
Performance Arts at Middlesex University. She counts comparative performance
studies, cultural diversity, interdisciplinarity and the discourses of
practice among her research interests.

Marian Pastor Roces (Philippines)
Marian Pastor Roces is a critic and independent curator living in the
Philippines. Published internationally, her writing is focused by her
interest in clothes, cities, museums, the construction of minorities, and
contemporary art that exercises scepticism about art and culture.

Faith Wilding (USA)
Faith Wilding is Associate Prof. and Chair of Performance Art at the Art
Institute, Chicago. Wilding is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work
addresses aspects of the somatic, psychic, and socio-political history of
the body.

Mischa Twitchin
Mischa Twitchin is a founder-member of the London-based performance
collective Shunt. While researching for a PhD on the Theatre of Death,
Mischa also teaches at Goldsmiths College and at the Central School of
Speech and Drama.


Guillermo Gomez-Pena (Mexico/USA) & Emiko Lewis (Japan/USA)
Performance artist and writer, he was born in Mexico and arrived in the US
in 1978. Since then he has investigated border culture and trans-cultural
identity. Through journalism, performance, radio, video, poetry and
installations he has explored the relationship between Latinos and the US.
Emiko Lewis is one of Guillermo’s collaborators with his La Pocha Nostra
performance company. Guillermo will be joining the conference.

Stelarc (Australia)
Stelarc is an Australian artist who has performed extensively in Japan,
Europe and the USA- including new music, dance festivals and experimental
theatre. He has used medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual
Reality systems and the Internet to explore alternate, intimate and
involuntary interfaces with the body.

Volcano Theatre Company (Wales)
Volcano is a Swansea-based international touring theatre company with a
reputation for energetic, unpredictable and arresting theatre that combines
strong visual impact, physical presence and intelligent text. They will
perform a radical version of a time-worn classic, Rome & Juliet

IMDT (Ireland)
Ireland’s leading experimental dance company collaborating with
choreographer, Thomas Lehmen.

Shazia Mirza (UK)
Now recognised as the UK's most prolific female Muslim stand-up, Shazia has
taken inspiration from this unique perspective to create ground-breaking
material which manages to cross both cultures. "Her laconic one-liners
represent something quite unique in modern comedy" William Cook, The

Booking Information for Towards Tomorrow?
Full-Time Waged £195
Part-time/Practitioner £135
Student / Unwaged £70

Accommodation is not included in the fee, CPR has reserved university
accommodation at a preferential rate and will also provide a list of local
B&B and hotel accommodation on request.

Places for this event are limited and early booking is advised. Bookings can
only be confirmed when we have received a completed booking form (or
completed it with you over the telephone) with a deposit for £50.

Meals & Refreshments
Tea and coffee is included in the delegate fee, but not meals.

Delegates can opt to attend the Towards Tomorrow? Dinner on Saturday 9th
April at £20 person.

University of Wales, Aberystwyth
TOWARDS TOMORROW? will take place on the Penglais Campus, University of
Wales, Aberystwyth - including Aberystwyth Arts Centre, the second largest
in Wales. The campus is just outside central Aberystwyth, which is a
characterful town located on the beautiful shores of Cardigan Bay, set in
unspoiled surroundings away from the industrial and urban connurbations but
with good road and rail links. The coastline to the north and south abounds
in fine beaches, while inland there are expanses of rolling moorland,
dissected by wooded valleys, with the mountains of Cader Idris and Snowdonia
within easy reach. The campus is probably the most spectacularly situated of
all British universities, enjoying panoramic views of the town of
Aberystwyth, the adjoining coast and the Irish Sea. The town is well served
by a selection of cafes, bistros and restaurants and the proximity of the
town and campus means everything in Aberystwyth is within walking distance.

Aberystwyth is served by good road and rail links.
Approximate journey times : By train – 3 hours from Birmingham, 5 hours from

If you need any further help or advice with elements of the programme,
schedule, accommodation options, travel or access information please contact
CPR on +44 (0)1970 622133.

Continuing the CPR tradition for high quality events staged in an individual

Throughout the event care is taken to forge links between people and ideas
and to create formal and informal opportunities for people to exchange
information about current and future projects. CPR’s long history of
bringing together international performance practitioners and scholars in a
potent spirit of debate/friendship, argument/opposition also serves as the
occasion to highlight and focus work at the forefront of future developments
in the field.

30 + 10: Throughout 2004/5 CPR will be celebrating 30 years of work
and 10 years in Aberystwyth.

To download a word version of this release please visit:

Antony Pickthall
Marketing & Development Director
Centre for Performance Research (CPR)
6, Science Park, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AH
Tel: +44 (0) 1970 621571
Fax: +44 (0) 1970 622132

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