INTERSECTING REPERTOIRE. TOWARDS AN INCLUSIVE, DIVERSE AND REPRESENTATIVE REPERTOIRE
Promotors: Edith Cassiers (RCA) & Timmy De Laet (UA)
Other research group involved: Performance Practice in Perspective (UP)
Repertoire theatre is at odds with the current diversity debate. The texts and the portrayal of those pieces on stage, are often not inclusive enough: besides an acute shortage for complex roles for minorities, other identity markers (ability, age, ethnicity, skin color, gender,..) aren’t always considered when working with the dramatic repertoire. However, in the wake of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter a change seems to occur: art schools and the theatre landscape are looking for a thorough reformation of repertoire theatre according to the needs of our current society.
This project wants to meet those needs by looking at repertoire theatre from an intersectional perspective and by applying this to our artistic theatre practice for the first time. Intersectionality states that identity and discrimination aren’t unambiguous concepts, but are the result of different overlapping aspects, such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability…
This project aims to develop strategies for a more diverse repertoire theatre that can be used by students, teachers and theatre makers/directors. This project focuses on three main research lines: text, casting and performance. For every aspect Lauranne Paulissen creates strategies with in the end a play as a synthesis. Other output contains an artistic handbook with strategies for a more diverse repertoire theatre, publications, artistic evenings, an Instagram page and a podcast series.
(Image: A. SLIMBROECK DE PEUTER, Vlaamsche toneelverzameling: Tante Clara, Antwerp: G., J. & E. Janssens, 1903, from Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrick Conscience)
Lauranne Paulissen concluded her master’s degree in acting at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp with great distinction, after having completed an internship as an actress at ITA in the Netherlands. She also followed a teacher training program at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp as well as the Universität der Künste of Berlin. Since then she has been a teacher, actress, researcher and theatre maker.
In 2018, Paulissen performed in a play by Piet Arfeuille and in ‘De halve ring’ from de Warme Winkel, a sequel of ‘Das Rheingold’ that she had co-created earlier. In 2021 she created the third part of this opera called ‘4 Girls 1 Wagner’. Earlier, in 2015, Paulissen worked on a research project with Evgenia Brendes, regarding the relevance of Ibsen. The role of gender and repertoire was already present in this project. As an actress, over the years, she developed a close connection to dramatic repertoire. In Berlin she got the opportunity to learn different approaches regarding this subject. All this background formed the motivation for her research project ‘Resisting repertoire’. In this project she did archival research for forgotten Flemish female playwrights and she launched the production of Martha de Krankzinnige, a play by forgotten Antwerp playwright Anna Slimbroeck de Peuter. In this production she experiments with strategies for a greater gender balance. Following this project, she realized an intersectional view on repertoire theatre was necessary, so she applied for her PhD ‘intersecting repertoire’.