Dr. Jane Turner and Dr. Patrick Campbell from the Department of Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire campus have recently returned from Brazil, where they participated in a successful International Colloquium that they co-organised and convened, entitled Third Theatre Today: Praxis, Legacy and Revolt.
The colloquium took place in Bahia, Brazil from 13-15 September 2016. The Performance and Contemporary Arts Research (PCAR) Group of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire campus supported the colloquium, which also counted on generous support from Luis Alonso, Artistic Director of the International Latin American Theatre Festival of Bahia (Filte-Bahia) and Professor Eliene Benicio, Dean of the Theatre School of the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.
Third Theatre is an intercultural theatrical tradition that emerged in the 1970s which differs from First (mainstream) theatre and Second (avant-garde) theatre. Whilst Third Theatre groups exist across the world and are highly influential theatre practitioners, their legacy has not been the subject of comprehensive academic scrutiny. Dr Turner and Dr Campbell have recently secured a book contract for a forthcoming co-authored monograph entitled A Poetics of Third Theatre: Performer Training, Dramaturgy and Participation, set to be published by Routledge in 2018.
The specific objective of the colloquium was to connect different generations of practitioners, platforming both seasoned and emerging artists who have consolidated the Third Theatre legacy in the Southern hemisphere and who continue to renew it through their innovative theatrical activities.
During the recent conference artists and academics from Brazil, Peru, Mexico, the UK and Denmark showcased a range of international work demonstrations, performances and papers. These sessions were followed by workshops given by Third Theatre artists, which were open to students, artists, academics and members of the general public.
Dr Jane Turner said: “There were some incredible contributions from our guest artists at the event. We were thrilled that key artists from renowned Third theatre groups agreed to participate, such as Miguel Rúbio, Artistic Director of Yuyachkani (Peru) and Carlos Simioni, founder member of Lume Teatro (Brazil). Both practitioners presented really exciting and insightful performances and lecture-demonstrations that demonstrate why their work is of such profound significance to the wider theatre community. It is extraordinary that the richness of Latin American theatre isn’t better recognised and known in Europe.”
The event allowed Dr Jane Turner and Dr Patrick Campbell to strengthen ties with strategic international University partners, including the Federal University of Bahia and Unicamp, the State University of Campinas, in Sao Paulo. The conference also offered opportunities for the University to develop links to renowned theatre groups such as Lume Teatro (Brazil) Yuyachkani (Peru), Riotous Theatre (UK) and Oco Teatro-Laboratorio (Brazil).
Patrick said: “The in-kind support we received from the Federal University of Bahia and the Filte-Bahia festival was incredibly generous, and all of the guest artists and academics contributed to a truly enriching and memorable event. Jane and I return to the UK with a real sense of the relevance and importance of Third Theatre to the field of the Performing Arts in Latin America and beyond. We are sure that the knowledge we take from this experience will feed into our ongoing research and teaching at Manchester Met.”