The Role of National Theatres in an Age of Globalization
This volume has so far focused largely on the past: the history and traditions of National Theatres, and how they have evolved through time. I want aggressively to move us into the future: what, if any, is the role of National Theatres now, and what is the relationship between individual nations and the evolving and emerging ‘New Europe’ — and beyond that — between individual European nations and the phenomenon known as globalization? Each of these terms is, of course, contested; perhaps the debatable idea of a new Europe is especially so — with its question of what Europe should now become and how it should see itself in what Barbara Susec Michieli identifies as a present moment of ethnopluralism and transnationalism (see chapter 17 in this volume). My argument has three aspects: that questions of national identity will continue to persist within and outside of National Theatre buildings; that European performances will inevitably address ‘Europe’ as well as their countries of origin; and that globalization is intertwined with any remaining notions of National Theatres.
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