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26th April, 2021

Aural-Oral Dramaturgies Website Launches

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - University of London

Central is excited to announce the launch of the website, the digital home for researcher Duška Radosavljević’s project Aural/Oral Dramaturgies: Post-Verbatim, Amplified Storytelling and Gig Theatre in the Digital Age.

Working with partners including the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), Digital Theater Plus (DT+), the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and alongside Post-Doctoral Research Associate Flora Pitrolo, Duška Radosavljević’s AHRC Funded Aural/Oral Dramaturgies project engages with the increasing prominence of speech and sound in 21st Century theatre and performance.

Over the 18 months of the project, between January 2020 and July 2021, the research team engaged with aspects of speech, sound, voice, live music and sound design in performance-making. Some of the wide-reaching findings from this work are now available for the public to explore for the first time on their dedicated website designed by Beatriz Cabur, as well as through Lend Me Your Ears, a  podcast collection of audio and video recordings which were created in collaboration with sound producer and journalist Tim Bano and Central student, video editor Juan Salazar.

The site contains a wealth of open-access information, sorted in the following categories:

  • The Gallery: A series of audio interviews with UK and International artists working in contemporary theatre and performance
  • The Salon: Reflective audio conversations between scholars, curators, artists and cultural agitators on any topic related to speech, sound and performance-making
  • The Laboratory: A collection of Zoom-generated ‘making of’ documentaries that give insight into the engineering of a selection of pieces of theatre and performance
  • The Library: Video profiles of significant texts at the intersection of speech, sound and dramaturgy, as introduced by their authors

It is also possible to browse the same material according to five themed issues which mirror the chapter structure of a planned monograph by Duška Radosavljević – Introduction(s), Post-Verbatim, Amplified Storytelling, Gig Theatre, Liminal Auralities. The website collection is intended as a companion to the book which will allow for the speech and sound element of the research to be also accessed by the readers.

Alongside Duška Radosavljević and Flora Pitrolo, a number of Central students, staff and alumni have contributed to the project, including: Samantha McAtear, Katie Beswick, Jane Boston, Gemma Brockis, Professor Ross Brown, Saskia Craft-Stanley, Emma Frankland, Robert Icke, Lynne Kendrick, Donnacadh O’Briain, Adelina Ong, Kalina Petrova, Matthew Powell, Juan Salazar, Rajha Shakiry, Farokh Soltani and Melanie Wilson.

Through an open-call in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, the Aural/Oral Dramaturgies team selected four Artists in Residence for the project: Gracefool Collective, Silvia Mercuriali, sair goetz and SK Shlomo. Selected in late 2019 prior to the start of the pandemic, the artists were co-commissioned with BAC to deliver a series of ‘scratch’ performances. The rehearsals leading up to the performances were to be documented and studied as part of the project.

As global circumstances changed, the project team continued to support these artists in their process and documented this but also expanded the remit to include other relevant artists. Thus, through its strands of content, the website also documents the work of artists during the Covid-19 pandemic and explores how they adjusted to their changing circumstances in real-time.

Spanish-based Sleepwalk Collective were also brought on as Associate Artists of the project after being interviewed for The Laboratory.

More content will be added to the website in the coming months, more specifically an audio course in Decolonising the Voice, created by Jane Boston and Sitandile Dubé and a series of masterclasses from selected artists under the new rubric of a Studio.

Find out more about the Aural/ Oral Dramaturgies research project and explore the collection at the website.

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