Swimming Against The Current: The Ebb and Flow Of Theatrical Exchange In A Turbulent Global Pool

Clem M. Martini
To add a paper, Login.

An active, thriving community of playwrights exists in Canada. Nearly six hundred professional playwrights belong to the arts advocacy organization Playwrights Guild of Canada. Despite that:

The playwriting texts used in Canadian Universities quote no Canadian playwrights, nor do they cite examples of Canadian playwriting. These texts originate with major publishers of educational materials sourced from either the United States or Britain.

While American and British plays are produced with regularity on Canadian stages, the production of a Canadian play in the major American and British theatres remains an exceptional occurrence. Cultural materials, stories and plays seem to flow unimpeded outward from the larger nations, and yet an invisible undertow appears to resist any attempt at reciprocity.

How to explain this phenomenon in the new millennium, when barriers and restrictions are said to be dropping? Wine and agricultural produce, computer chips and technical innovations appear to travel easily enough. Is it possible for the dramatic literature of the world to travel freely, or is the Global Theatre highway a one way street? Is artistic exchange simply an extension of aesthetical hegemony and cultural dominance? The paper will include research based upon decades of records at the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Keywords: Contemporary Culture, Global Culture, Global Audience, Art and Social Engineering, Aesthetics
Stream: Audiences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Clem M. Martini

Associate Professor, Department of Drama, University of Calgary,
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Playwrights Guild of Canada


Clem Martini has written over 25 produced plays which have toured nationally and internationally. His published plays include "Illegal Entry", "Turnaround", "A Three Martini Lunch", "The Field Mouse Collection". In addition he has co-authored a text on improvisation along with Professor Kathleen Foreman entitled "The Oral History of Theatresports". His new text on playwriting "The Blunt Playwright" will be released by Playwrights Canada Press in 2006.

Ref: A06P0049