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Title: Theatre as Public Sphere: The History of Theatre Exchange between Japan and Southeast Asia
Keywords: theatre movement, public sphere, applied theatre, civic movement, theatre collaboration, cultural diplomacy
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2011
Citation: TAKIGUCHI KEN (2011-08-05). Theatre as Public Sphere: The History of Theatre Exchange between Japan and Southeast Asia. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The accumulation of theatre exchanges between Japan and Southeast Asia made two remarkable contributions to Japanese contemporary theatre in the 1990s. One was that the methodology of theatre workshops, which originated in Southeast Asia, was widely adopted as a standard methodology for a new type of theatre called `public theatre?. The other was that international theatre collaborations between Japan and Southeast Asia initiated a `boom? of theatre collaborations in Japan. This thesis traces the history of theatre exchanges between the two regions and examines the social and cultural backgrounds of the exchanges. This thesis divides the history of exchanges into three periods. The first period is from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, when the Angura theatre movement became the first Japanese theatre movement that paid primary attention to Asia. The second is from the late 1970s to the end of the 1980s. It was a period when an Angura theatre company, the Black Tent Theatre started exchanges with their Southeast Asian counterparts, including the Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA). The third period is from the early 1990s to the early 2000s when the two developments mentioned earlier were realised. The shifts from one period to another were realised by adopting new ideas, methods and models of theatre. The relationship between theatre and society in particular has always been at stake in the theatre movements that initiated exchanges between Japan and Southeast Asia. This thesis proposes to consider theatre movements as projects that build a public sphere. It assumes that there are three different models of the public sphere, and argues that the adoption of different models defined the mode of exchanges during each period. The first type of public sphere is the Liberalist model that assumes a dichotomy between the `public? and `private?. The second type is the Counte-Public Sphere model that expects a `public sphere? to reside in between the dichotomy of the `public authority? and the `private sphere?. As the `third sphere?, the public sphere is considered a discursive space where people gather voluntarily and discuss their common issues. The narratives which question the policies of governments are created there. The third model is the Public Sphere for Coexistence. This model also assumes that the public sphere is the `third sphere?, yet it has a different function from the second model. The public sphere is considered a space where people learn a manner of living together with people who have different values and cultures. The theatre movements in each period adopted one of these three models of the public sphere. This thesis examines the features of each movement by using these models, and presents an argument about how they affected the theatre exchanges between Japan and Southeast Asia.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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