For those working in the theory and practice - or both - of performing arts today, we can no longer speak only of drama or even theatre to describe what is actually going on before spectators. A shift of critical and creative interest from dramatic theatres to performance began to infiltrate the Northern hemispheric academy in the 1970’s. In the USA, Joseph Schechner (e.g. Performance Theory. New York: Routledge 2003), in the spirit of Grotowski, Brook, Barba and other theatre leaders’ interest in inter, cross and multiculturality, influentially applied sociology and anthropology to reconfigure what ‘performance studies’ could and should articulate beyond a euro-centric cultural frame of reference. Into this brew we must add of course group theatres, ensembles, experimental and devised work by a new post-1968 generation, many of whom were moving beyond the realms of new writing (though this has remained a force for change in some quarters) to find what a non-bourgeois theatre could mean. Liberation movements and their many ‘isms pushed forth new voices and new dramaturgies. Writing about our discipline, in terms of critical theories to describe and interpret developments in theatrical performance in the last forty years (during which the Women’s Liberation Movement emerged), is becoming as heterogeneous, intercultural and interdisciplinary as its practice. It simply had to, in order to keep up.

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Gender and Performance.

Theatre / Dance / Technology