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An Uncanny Theatricality: the Representation of the Offstage

  • Beliz Güçbilmez

In this article, Beliz Güçbilmez argues that ‘offstage’ is not a place but an idea, a world minus a stage. It is ‘anywhere but here’, and its time is time-minus-now, making it impossible to determine its scale. It is a foreign tongue – a language with an unknown grammar carrying us to the borders of the uncanny. Güçbilmez rereads the offstage as the unconscious of the stage, looking at its more conventional use in the realistic and naturalistic plays of the nineteenth century and after, but also looking forward to the work of Samuel Beckett. Borrowing from Blanchot's interpretation of the Orpheus-Eurydice myth, she characterizes the Beckettian struggle to represent the unrepresentable as the act of bringing Eurydice into daylight – the invisible content of the offstage onto the stage, which is by definition the space of the gaze. Beliz Güçbilmez is an author, playwright, and translator, currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department of Ankara University in Turkey. She is the author of Irony and Drama from Sophocles to Stoppard (Ankara: Deniz, 2005) and Time, Space and Appearance: the Form of Miniature in the Turkish Realist Theatre (Ankara: Deniz, 2006). A shorter version of this article was presented at the Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR) at its 2005 meeting in Krakow.

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New Theatre Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0266-464X
  • EISSN: 1474-0613
  • URL: /core/journals/new-theatre-quarterly
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