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By Josette Féral (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)


Date:  Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 5 pm.

Venue: Room D.014. Universiteit Antwerpen, Stadscampus, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen.

Entrance: Participation is free, but please let us know if you will attending (with an e-mail to since the lecture will be followed by a small reception.




Analysing a performance from the viewpoint of what is presented to the public always overlooks the creative work which led to it, the preliminary work which leads up to the performance in question and is made up of explorations, trials and errors, forward and backward moves during which the basis for the final performance is laid down. These moments are witness to the life animating a performance’s preparation and explain its development. This means that to study any representation of a performance with a view to analysing it will always remain a single moment in a process that constantly needs to be reaffirmed. In this lecture, Josette Féral will argue that this ‘genealogical’ work of preparation; the phases of the staging’s constructive work; the research carried out by the actor on his or her text; and the hesitancies, erasures, choices and discoveries generated by a collective work are fundamental to comprehending the representation. They bring its meaning to light and allow us to observe creation at work: creation of the stage setting, of a part, of a character and so on. This procedure is not only indispensable for a better understanding of the performance under study, but also affords a better comprehension of the phases of the creative act itself. This presentation attempts to lay down the basis for defining what should be the tools and corpus for such a field of study.


Josette Féral is presently professor at La Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Paris 3). She has taught previously at the Université du Québec à Montréal, since 1981. She has published several books including Théorie et pratique du théâtre, au-delà des limites (2011), Mise en scène et jeu de l'acteur, volumes I, II and III (1997, 1999, 2007), Rencontres avec Ariane Mnouchkine (1995), Trajectoires du Soleil (1999) and La culture contre l'art: essai d'économie politique du théâtre (Montréal, 1990). She has edited several books and thematic issues of leading international journals on the theory of the theatre, the most recent ones being Le réel à l’épreuve des technologies (2013), Pratiques performatives, Body Remix (2012), ‘Genetics of Performance’ in Theatre Research International (2008), ‘The Transparency of the Text: Contemporary Writing for the Stage’ in Yale French Studies (co-edited with Donia Mounsef, 2007), ‘Theatricality’ in Substance (2002). She has also been President of the International Federation of Theatre Research (1999-2003).


This lecture is organized by the Research Centre for Visual Poetics (UA) and the Centre for Literature, Intermediality, anc Culture (CLIC, VUB) in the context of the research project “The Didascalic Imagination. Contemporary Theatrical Notebooks as Genetic Documents of the Artistic Process”.




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