In the contemporary postdramatic theatrical landscape the traditional concepts of drama, such as plot, character and mimesis, have largely been abandoned. Nevertheless, plays by canonical playwrights such as Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg who all wrote within the dramatic paradigm, continue to be extensively performed throughout the world. The European tradition of directors’ theatre, where the director and his/her team creates their own vision of canonical plays, has shown a particular interest in such texts. I explore what happens to plays by canonical dramatic writers when they meet a postdramatic directors’ theatre where the dramatic principles on which they were written, are broken. I study what directors find in canonical plays that resonate on the contemporary stage, and the strategies they use to utilise it. Some directors that are of particular interest to me are Ivo van Hove, Calixto Bieito, Katie Mitchell, Vegard Vinge and Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson.
"Canonical Dramatic Texts in Contemporary Directors' Theatre."