MinterTom  Jun.23.2018 0 Comments is hard to explain what it is to hand over a piece of work, that has -up till now- not been fully seen standing ..and has waited, years -for the chance.. Only to find that the wait had timing.. and the hands it has been received by, are giving it all kinds of dimension I'd only dreamed possible.. This is part of an exchange I had from Dione Joseph the other day, as we caught up on her reflections of the process to rehearsing REX:   20TH JUNE 2018 Dione: "I have something for you to read on my vision. I'm writing a paper for an indigenous conference at the end of the year on Rex. It’s made me think about it in a lot of different ways. This paper will discuss my conceptual and practical approach to directing the world premiere of America Rex by Tom Minter. America Rex is a play of epic themes, an acute look at global politics and policies that seeks to bring an ethereal dramatic quality to contemporary theatre. As a gay Black American, whose work has been produced in London, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Madison, Wisconsin and Washington, DC, Tom Minter is fascinated with what he calls the ‘tapestry of identity’ and the question of how different communities are created. My production looks through and beyond the postcolonial to the cosmopolitan, in the first instance, by bringing together actors and artists of diverse backgrounds: Māori, Samoan, Greek, Caribbean, Zimbabwean, Indian, Sri Lankan, Singaporean, Chinese, Colombian, Lebanese, African American, and White English and American. We perform difference differently. For most of us, the colonial past remains proximate. At the same time, here in Aotearoa most of us identify as tau iwi; some of us may be indigenous, but we are not necessarily seen as indigenous here. We are, as such, a cosmopolitan company, our international paths crossing on the local stage in ways that can move us beyond customary polemics toward a cosmic reckoning.   For Ka Haka 2018, I want to provoke a reconsideration of the definitions and boundaries of theatre and performance in the indigenous context. How might performing diverse identities, indigenous and not, become also a play of ideas? In America Rex, one of the generals says: ‘It is important, very important, to please the crowd . . . Luckily, stability is one of the greatest soporifics in history.’ By this he means that power is sustained by constancy.   How might the theatre, while making use of the conventions and tropes that audiences need to make sense of what they see, also destabilise our assumptions of how brown bodies on stage are expected to perform? How can we push beyond old ways of making theatre, into new ways of knowing who we are to be making it and what it might mean as a result? Keywords: Indigenous theatre, diversity, postcolonial performance, cosmopolitanism, power.."   The title of the paper is "Performing Difference Differently: Post the colonial, Post the cosmopolitan...into the cosmos"..

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