Photo: Auli Karra

Doctoral Dissertation: The play within the play as a means for disruption

MA Davide Giovanzanas doctoral dissertation analyses a specific dramaturgical phenomenon, defined as “the play within the play”, which introduces a second story inside the main drama. What happens when a playwright introduces a second level of representation? What happens when some actors start performing for other actors and another level of illusion is added to the first one?

Giovanzana suggests that something essential to the nature of theatre is present in this particular device. Contemporary theatre seems to refute the artifice of creating an “illusion” of reality. However, many contemporary performances refuting illusion reuse strategies of the play within the play. This dramaturgical device can be a tool intruding into the authoritarian discourse from within the authoritarian discourse. In other words, it is a means that disrupts power playfully, from within. It allows a disruption challenging the structure, the power, or the fiction. From this perspective it is clear that it is not a simple game of forms but it also carries political implications. The play within the play allows to bring the notion of open process into the self-enclosed, well-made drama. It permits to "exceed" theatre, to bring theatre itself onto the stage. Eventually the play within the play creates its own limit, or frame, and cracks it.

Davide Giovanzana has studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Geneva (Switzerland) and Physical Theatre in Brussel (Belgium) and Padova (Italy). Subsequently he has worked as an actor, theatre director and pedagogue in several countries with different theatres and theatre academies. He is co-founder of the Helsinki-based theatre company Metamorfoosi, and collaborates with the Finnish-German multidisciplinary group Periskop. He is artistic director of MasQue, an international mask theatre festival in Helsinki (Finland).

Doctoral dissertation Theatre Enters! the play within the play as a means for disruption will be publicly examined (in English) Friday October 23 at 12 o’clock by opponents B.Sc, PhD Simon Murray (University of Glasgow) and PhD, Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher Teemu Paavolainen (University of Tampere). Custos/Monitor of the defense is Professor in Artistic Research Esa Kirkkopelto. Place: Theatre Academy (Auditorium 1, Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki).

The doctoral dissertation has been published in the Theatre Academy' s Acta Scenica series. It will be displayed 10 days prior to the public examination at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki's library.

Additional information:

 

Davide Giovanzana, davide_giovanzana@yahoo.com
Annika Fredriksson, annika.fredriksson@uniarts.fi