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Kamron Gunatilaka and the Crescent Moon Theatre : contemporary Thai theatre as political dissent

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Item Summary

Title: Kamron Gunatilaka and the Crescent Moon Theatre : contemporary Thai theatre as political dissent
Authors: Jungwiwattanaporn, Parichat
Keywords: Contemporary Theatre
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Issue Date: Dec 2010
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract: The cultural and political hegemony constructed by Thailand's centralized administration has exercised considerable influence on cultural expression, including theatre, which has been dominated by government directives and by the aesthetics and ideologies espoused by ruling elites. Nevertheless, certain folk/popular traditional and contemporary performing arts have resisted this domination. As a pioneer in the People's Theatre during the student-led political uprising in the 1970s, Kamron Gunitilaka (1946-), co-founder of the Crescent Moon Theatre Group, has dedicated himself to creating original and innovative theatre works that challenge hegemonic norms. Arguing that theatre is a cultural phenomenon dependent upon its sociopolitical contexts, this dissertation uses representative works of Kamron to explore the possibilities of theatre as a voice of dissent.
This dissertation articulates the roles of Kamron's theatre through the trajectories of history, aesthetics, politics and philosophy. First, it relates Kamron's biography to his theatre profession, and to the democracy movement. Juxtaposing examples of state-imposed aesthetics and hegemonic elite theatre, it traces the history of the People's Theatre movement and the Crescent Moon Theatre, both of which offer alternative content and aesthetics. Second, it offers an in-depth analysis of Kamron's representative productions based on specific aesthetic concepts (i.e.
Buddhist-Brechtian, Buddhist-Artaudian, and postmodern) in relation to his political and philosophical thought. Third, by analyzing the ideological, philosophical, and political implications in Kamron's work, this dissertation demonstrates that theatre, as a signifying system, can challenge and criticize the existing hegemony and even call for revolutionary action.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Theatre

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