Bookshelf Spotlight: Theatre in Southeast Asia

Featured Books

* Time Bomb and Cockroach Opera: Two plays
* Staging Nation: English Language Theatre In Malaysia And Singapore
* Krishen Jit: An Uncommon Position, Selected Writings
* Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre: Spectral Genealogies and Absent Faces
* Children of This Land
* Dance, Drama, and Theatre in Thailand: The Process of Development and Modernization

Time Bomb and Cockroach Opera: Two plays

by N. Riantiarno, Barbara Hatley (Translator), John H. McGlynn (Translator)
The Lontar Foundation, 1992

Through street talk and raunchy humor Time Bomb and Cockroach Opera present a stinging critique of social injustice. In a slum on the banks of a fetid canal, society’s victims, the cockroaches of this world the poor, prostitutes, beggars, and thieve play out their struggle with life. They are the bomb ready to explode. Time Bomb and Cockroach Opera, showing the dark “underside” to elite prosperity, subvert rather than affirm common assumptions.

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Staging Nation: English Language Theatre In Malaysia And Singapore

By Jacqueline Lo
University of Washington Press, 2004

Staging Nation examines the complex relationship between the theatrical stage and the wider stage of nation building in postcolonial Malaysia and Singapore. In less than fifty years, locally written and produced English language theatre has managed to shrug off its colonial shackles to become an important site of community expression. This comparative study discusses the role of creative writing and the act of performance as actual political acts and as interventions in national self-constructions.

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Krishen Jit: An Uncommon Position, Selected Writings

By Krishen Jit and Baha Zain (Editor)
University of Hawai’i Press, 2007

Krishen Jit was one of the most influential figures in the arts in Southeast Asia. He had distinguished himself as a director, dramaturg, critic, academic, arts advocate, educationist, historian and regional power broker in a career that spans over 40 years. As a critic and scholar, he has defied the boundaries of language and genre, making his body of writings an indispensable resource in the structuring and historicizing of arts practice in Malaysia. Krishen’s critical studies have appeared in “The Asian Theatre Journal”, “Dewan Sastera”, “The New Sunday Times”, “Far Eastern Economic Review” and “The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre” among other publications. This book features a selection of Krishen’s essays and articles written from the early 1970s to date, covering theatre, dance and visual art. Articles include an analysis of contemporary theatre in Southeast Asia, the polemics of religion and art in Malaysia, the dynamics of multiculturalism in performance and the artist’s role as a public intellectual. This collection is a must for anyone seeking an insider’s perspective on the arts in Southeast Asia.

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Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre: Spectral Genealogies and Absent Faces (Studies in International Performance)

By Evan Darwin Winet, Janelle Reinelt (Editor), Brian Singleton (Editor)
Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

Drawing examples from as early as a 1619 production of Hamlet and as recent as 2007 performances by Indonesia’s most famous presidential impersonator, this book considers how theatre functions as a uniquely effective medium for representing the contradictions of Indonesian identity in the urban colonial/postcolonial metropole.

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Children of This Land

By Noordin Hassan
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1992

Children of this Land amplifies and solidifies Noordin Hassan’s (the author) unique form and blend of modern Malay theatre. This “play within a play” portrays a wide panorama of multinational characters that exemplifies the good and the bad, the traitor and the nationalist, the selfish and the sacrificing. The characters include Malays, Chinese, English and Japanese, thus stressing the fact that Malaysia is a multiracial nation. Children of this Land is indeed a sophisticated work full of multilevelled possibilities and varied interpretations.

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Dance, Drama, and Theatre in Thailand: The Process of Development and Modernization

By Mattani
Silkworm Press, 1998

Thai classical dance and dance-drama have been integral parts of Thai life beginning of its history to the present. They have been kept alive in a continuous line of succession through the Sukhothai. Ayudhaya, and Ratanakosin periods under royal patronage and since 1932 under the constitutional government. The creative innovations and experimentations in classical dance-drama that were gun during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, have continued to influence the works of dramatists until the present day. This book is the first attempt ever made to present comprehensively the development of the long history of Thai dance, drama and performing arts includes 63 photographs and discussions of contemporary developments and theatre construction.

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