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Disability, Theatre, and Postcoloniality: Reflections on the Politics of Performance

  • Xanthe Hunt
  • Brian Watermeyer
  • Marlene le Roux
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the nature and role of “disability theatre” in Global South contexts, through bringing together the voices of two scholars in disability studies, with that of the chief executive of a major Cape Town theatre complex, who is herself a disabled person. After exploring definitions of disability theatre, the question of its relevance to disability liberation in the postcolonial context is examined. Connections are made between colonisation based on geography, race, culture, and disability and the potential of performance art for expunging these “occupations”. Modes of exclusion of disability from the performing arts are discussed. Decolonisation is understood as taking ownership of representations of human experiences which are “always already” combinations of cultural and linguistic traditions. Disability theatre is viewed as capable of demythologising disability, “de-ablising” performance art, and promoting disability representation.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xanthe Hunt
    • 1
  • Brian Watermeyer
    • 2
  • Marlene le Roux
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Division of Disability Studies, Department of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Artscape TheatreCape TownSouth Africa

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