Interview with Oksana Dudko: “Contemporary Theatre is an Instrument of Social Change”

14 Mär 2016

Which role does theatre play in a country or region that is subject to distinct regional and transregional conflicts? How does it develop by facing societal and political changes? Oksana Dudko, historian and theatre curator for international theatre festivals including New Drama, and currently fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, observes an increasing diversity of types of theatre. Dudko explains in the interview how alternative plays as in documentary or neighborhood theatres affect society by fostering interaction between local actors and politicians. Theatre documents contemporary situations and opinions, and it integrates non-professional actors into a play and in that way provokes public and political response by expressing the specific needs of civil society. Throughout her research project “Rattling the Bars of its Cage: New Alternative Theatre in Ukraine” she points out that contemporary theatre not only plays a social role in Ukraine and whole Eastern Europe, but it is also an instrument of social change offering a bottom-up perspective.

The conversation took place in the framework of the Winter Academy “Beyond History and Identity: New Perspectives on Aesthetics, Politics, and Society in Eastern Europe”, organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung, that inaugurated the Berlin-Brandenburg Ukraine Initiative, the predecessor of Prisma.
The interview was originally published at the Transregional Academies Blog.