Diffractive Dramaturgies in Our Lady of Shadows

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In this article we will look at a practice-as-research collaboration between us Author A, Author B, Eddie Ladd and formerly Karoline Gritzner which explored the aesthetics of neo-medievalism through an intermedial dramaturgy and digital scenography. Currently the project has two forms, an intermedial theatrical version of Author A's radio play Our Lady of Shadows (broadcast on BBC Radio 3), which is a radical adaptation of Alfred Tennyson's famous poem, The Lady of Shalott and an augmented reality version of the radio play which also functions as its documentation. The work combines dramatic text, physical performance, digital scenography, painting, animation and music in an intermedial exploration of the tenuous pact between reality and imagination.

In the first instance we will introduce the project and then we will explore how Karen Barad’s concept of ‘diffraction’ can form the basis of a dramaturgical approach as suggested by Vlad Butucea (2022) and analyse how it manifests itself in our practice-as-research. Even though Barad’s concept is an analytical methodology in her writing, we are wondering what a concept of a ‘diffractive dramaturgy’ would be like, one that is based on the interferences between layers of technology and live performance? As such we will attempt to present our research findings in the form of a manifesto for a ‘diffractive dramaturgy’. In the final section of the article, we will explore the wider cultural and political implications of this project by framing it through Katherine Hayles’ concept of the ‘posthuman’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalBody, Space & Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024


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