The theatre is a space for memory, commemoration, creation of images, and deliberation of constitutive human experiences. This course deals with the challenge of representing and performing Holocaust-related materials in contemporary theatre and with the ways in which such materials have been used to explore complex questions of the past and the present. We will study plays and theatre performances that employ experimental and thought-provoking modes of representation in order to create powerful theatrical experiences, and analyze the aesthetic, social, and ethical issues that such performances evoke. The course will also engage with theories of documentary theatre, total theatre, cultural memory as performance, trauma and performance, and relations between the arts and the Holocaust more generally. Classes will be accompanied by DVD recordings of performances discussed. Translations of non-English texts will be provided. This is a Creating Change Theme Seminar.
Dr. Sharon Aronson-Lehavi is the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor in Israel Studies for 2013-2014 and a Senior Lecturer of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Department of Comparative Literature, Bar Ilan University in Israel. She is a member of the Israel Young Academy, established by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. She is the author of Gender and Feminism in Modern Theatre (Open UP 2013, Hebrew); Street Scenes: Late Medieval Acting and Performance (Palgrave Macmillan 2011); and editor of Wanderers and Other Israeli Plays (Seagull Books 2009).