Roesner, David P.
Musicking as mise-en-scène.
In: Studies in Musical Theatre, Vol. 4, No. 1: pp. 89-102
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Using a production of Euripides' Phoenissae I supervised and directed at the Universitt Hildesheim in 2004 as a main example, this article seeks to explore in which ways making music (or better, in Christopher Small's term, musicking) can become a central dramaturgical, narrative and performative driver of the mise-en-scne. In the given case it resulted in a hybrid of performative genres and contained elements of a concert, an installation, a story-telling event, straight theatre and chorus recitation. Through this hybridization the production questioned the nature of the following relationships: (1) Music/stage: the production stretched the notion of music on stage to music with the stage. The stage was equally a performative space, a sound box and sonic space. (2) Performer/character: the production questioned the role of the performers who continually oscillated between being actors, narrators, chorus and musicians. Musicking became performative action and vice versa. (3) Performance/narrative: musicking, spatial design, visual imagery and the audience's interpretative reception intertwined to introduce forms of theatrical narrative that I will argue to be emergent.