Flexible characterization: Herstorical performance in heritage sites
MetadataShow full item record
Bianchi, V. (2020) Flexible characterization: Herstorical performance in heritage sites. New Theatre Quarterly, 36(4), pp. 355-368.
This article explores how performance and character can be used to represent the lives of real women in spaces of heritage. It focuses on two different site-specific performances created by the author in the South Ayrshire region of Scotland: CauseWay: The Story of the Alloway Suffragettes and In Hidden Spaces: The Untold Stories of the Women of Rozelle House. These were created with a practice-as-research methodology and aim to offer new models for the use of character in site-specific performance practice. The article explores the variety of methods and techniques used including verbatim writing, spatial exploration and Herstorical research in order to demonstrate the ways in which women’s narratives were represented in a theoretically informed, site-specific manner. Drawing on Phil Smith’s mythogeography and responding to Laurajane Smith’s work on gender and heritage, the conflicting tensions of identity, performance and authenticity are drawn together to offer flexible characterization as a new model for the creation of feminist heritage performance. Victoria Bianchi is a theatre maker and academic in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Her work explores the relationship between space, feminism and identity. She has written and performed work for the National Trust for Scotland, Camden People’s Theatre and Assembly at Edinburgh, among other institutions.