Beginning with Frantz Fanon’s description of the problematic yet energizing effects of decolonization in The Wretched of the Earth (1961), this essay discusses the ways in which the theatre of modernity appears especially attractive to anti-colonial and post-colonial nationalist movements. This dominant and institutional model of theatre presents the colonized, not only as physically decorous, but as efficient and ready for work within a capitalist economy. The essay examines these propositions in relation to twentieth-century Irish theatre and drama. The second part of the essay examines the continuing centrality of performance and professional theatre within current discourses of neoliberalism and performance management. The essay concludes by referring briefly to an array of contemporary theatre groups that re-awaken theatre’s potential for ethical self-awareness by refusing many of the core conventions of institutional theatre.


theatre and political emancipation, decolonization, theatre of modernity, capitalism, bourgeois nationalism, Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism, neoliberalism, Fordism, PostFordism, Irish drama, performance management

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)