Dramatizing war: George Packer and the democratic potential of Verbatim Theater

Journal article


Chou, Mark Fei-Chun and Bleiker, Roland. (2010) Dramatizing war: George Packer and the democratic potential of Verbatim Theater. New Political Science. 32(4), pp. 561 - 574. https://doi.org/10.1080/07393148.2010.520441
AuthorsChou, Mark Fei-Chun and Bleiker, Roland
Abstract

Times of war are often times when democratic debates are under siege. The apparent necessity to ward off an enemy and secure the nation's survival can trigger a state of exception: a partial suspension of crucial democratic rights and practices for the sake of national security. The purpose of this essay is to examine the potential and limits of theater to offer an alternative forum for public debate in contexts where freedom of speech is limited. To do so, the authors systematically analyze the content and context of one play: George Packer's 2008 award-winning play, Betrayed. Through their analysis, they make two key arguments about the democratic potential of theater. First, that theater has the potential to sidestep political censorship during a time of war. And second, that theater can give voice to a multitude of real characters and under-represented perspectives.

Year2010
JournalNew Political Science
Journal citation32 (4), pp. 561 - 574
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0739-3148
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/07393148.2010.520441
Scopus EID2-s2.0-79956234352
Page range561 - 574
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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