Staging Cultural Encounters: Algerian Actors Tour the US
This multimedia ethnography tells stories about performances of cultural encounter and cultural exchange during the US tour of the Algerian theater troupe Istijmam. Video links throughout the book take you on tour with the actors as they move from the Kennedy Center to the large state universities of New Hampshire and Indiana, and from a tiny community theater in small-town New England to the stage of the avant-garde La MaMa Theater in New York City. The book takes up:
- conundrums of cross-cultural encounter: What took place in workshops, presentations and panels?
- challenges in translation: How did we rework the play in English from Algerian Arabic?
- audience responses: What did different US spectators make of the play?
- tradition, reworked: How did actors bring the North African performance form called halqa, or marketplace storytelling, to the US stage?
- theater theory, reconfigured: How did actors draw on the “poor theater” approaches of Bertolt Brecht and Jerzy Grotowski?