Performing the city

Makeham, Paul B. (2005) Performing the city. Theatre Research International, 30(2), pp. 150-160.

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Lewis Mumford, writing in the 1930s, understood the city as a ‘theater of social action’. Mumford’s ideas remain important in the context of the contemporary post-industrial city, in which theatricality and performativity are key drivers of so-called ‘experience economies’. Increasingly, urban planners are attuned to such theatrical notions as the ‘urban scene’ and ‘urban drama’ in framing policy. Adopting interpretive strategies enabled by Performance Studies, this paper gives an account of some of the ways in which theatre and performance are made manifest in cities. It considers some of the implications of urban perfomativity, arguing that good city planning demands an ethics of performance, whereby citizens become co-performers in the urban drama, rather than merely spectators of it.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 7099
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: theatre and performance, city and urban planning, performativity, urban drama
DOI: 10.1017/S030788330500115X
ISSN: 1474-0672
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Land Use and Environmental Planning (120504)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 International Federation for Theatre Research
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 20 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:17

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