Theatre – ting
: Toward a Materialist Practice of Staging Documents

  • Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This Practice-as-Research project investigates documentary performance from the perspective of the dramaturg. Through analysing two specific practical approaches to working with documentary material; one with non trained performers related to methods of socially engaged and participatory art practices, and the other with professionally trained performers, I argue for moving away from the perceived dichotomy between the discourse of reality and fiction in documentary work entirely. Introducing object-oriented philosophy and new materialism as an ethical framework, I propose a third way of framing work that
    use testimonial, tribunal or other materials derived from contemporary lives, arguing that a document is neither real nor fictional – it is a thing. I have explored practical ways for performers and dramaturgs to work with text-things, and a conceptual framework for the theatrical event called theatre-ting. The etymological root of the word ‘ting’ (thing) connects to practices of assemblage and gathering, still found in the Nordic languages. The theatre-ting brings the factual into the spaces of the fictional, which destabilizes both demonstrating how they are equally theatrical, truthful and mystical. It is a space where common questions and issues can be staged and discussed. It is an arena for testing,
    rehearsing, and practicing ethics. The materialist practice of staging documents questions notions of authorship, subjectivity, relation, and control in performative practices. In dialogue with object-oriented philosophy I have developed a conceptual framework to work from, challenging anthropocentrism and pointing to the ways things (including human bodies) are co-dependent and form each other, and where neither have the power of definition over the other. This demands ways of dealing with listening, time, relation, chance, and uncertainty. It is a matter of moving the attention to a materialist rather than individualist view.
    Date of Award30 Aug 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton

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