Landscapes as graveyards: Spectral return and performativity in the contested landscape
Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Building on playwright Emily Duncan's heterotopic methodology for the reading and dramatisation of a site and its histories (2016) and Jonathan W. Marshall's work on the emergence of patterns of haunted absence and presence solicited by British prehistoric monuments (2017), we explore issues of spectrality, heterogeneity and performance at historical 'dead places' and theatre which represents them. By reference to Michel Foucault's model of heterotopia, Duncan's playscript Waipiata (2017), the danse macabre, and the Uncanny colonial landscape, we argue that theatres and theatrical sites act as graveyards, or as sites for a shimmering spectral presence. Death theatricalises; it dances, and its subjects return to address us.