“Making the Time of Our Lives: Unfinished Experimentations in Performing the Ageing Identity"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

I aim here at a short and open-ended history of Passages Theatre Group, beginning with an explanation of the process and theoretical underpinning of the first
1 Nine of Passages Theatre Group‟s 18 members performed at this showing of The Time of Our Lives at The University of Sheffield‟s Theatre Department on 3/12/12.
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Track Changes Issue 4: Thinking Forward Through the Past
phase of their work. Then in the section „Identities‟, I detail the group‟s staging of identity through a dramatisation of first memories, and examine the implications of their investigations into the performance of the significant ageing subject. Following this, I propose a notion of „future value‟, problematising the ascription of negative future value to old age as a stigma borne by the older body, detrimental to the perception of the worthiness of older people. Finally, I explore the implications for the group‟s future representations of the ageing subject in performance. Bill McDonnell calls for a historiography of theatre that „might reflect more accurately a politics of process‟, which „could take in the making of texts, rehearsal, performance and post- performance, [...] supplemented with diaries or journal reflections‟. He suggests that participants should be included in the making of the record, to allow for a „richer perspective on the values of these collaborations‟.2 With this in mind, I include relevant reflections from Passages members and quotations from the academy alongside my own consideration of the work, presenting a variety of voices and opinions.3 Using these methods, I outline the ways in which the first performance enabled a „making visible‟ of the past and consequently produced insights about specific older identities, which would otherwise have remained obscure. In addition, I argue that the negative „future-value‟ inscribed on the older body can potentially be disrupted by staging identity through time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-38
Number of pages19
JournalTrack Changes: The Post Graduate Journal of the Faculty of Arts And Humanities
VolumeWinter 2012
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

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