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Finding the Balance: Writing and Performing Ethics in Théâtre du Soleil’s Le Dernier Caravansérail (2003)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2006


Théâtre du Soleil’s latest production, Le Dernier Caravansérail (The Last Caravanserai), staged the stories and experiences of immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers from around the world. In this article, William McEvoy argues that the company was motivated both by a political agenda to make migrants more visible and a concern to investigate the ethical implications of its own creative processes. This led to a potential conflict between representing migrants directly on stage and a performance that reflected the company’s worries about turning migrants’ traumatic narratives into theatre and spectacle. Focusing on the concept of balance in the production, the article shows how Théâtre du Soleil presented the ethical negotiations between creative self and represented other through exploring the links between text and performance, writing and the body, and manipulation and resistance. William McEvoy is a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Sussex, specializing in contemporary theatre and performance. He has published work on Peter Brook and Ariane Mnouchkine, and his current research deals with the shifting role of the text in experimental and physical theatre.

Research Article
2006 Cambridge University Press

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