International Conference “Recycling in the Performing Arts: From Creativity to Commerce”

Date 20.11.2021

Location Bratislava and online

In general terms, recycling is the process of converting waste into reusable material. The metaphor of recycling, however, may be applied to the performing arts in multiple contexts. Indeed, recycling may be seen as an essential aesthetic quality of theatre and performing arts in general. Despite the assumed replication of a performance from one evening to the next, the recycled cultural product is continuously supplemented, embedding a paradoxical spark of the “new” alongside the “recycled.” In this respect, performance may be said to be forever regenerating itself.

From a historical perspective, there is inherent recycling as genres and styles developed. Classical Greek tragedies recycled the myths of their culture. The Romans later recycled both Greek tragedies and comedies. Works of the Italian Renaissance and French classicism followed this trajectory. Even William Shakespeare was a master of recycling different materials: histories of England, medieval legends, Greek myths, etc. With focus moving to the director since the late 19th century, each new interpretation of classic work has involved the recycling of narratives. In the context of our conference, we seek to emphasize contemporary practices with regard to the notion of “recycling” in theatre and the performing arts.

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