Project code: PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2021-1132

Project title: Liquid Stories: Adaptation and Rewriting in Contemporary Theatre / Povești lichide: adaptare și rescriere în teatrul contemporan (LISTO)
Project code: PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2021-1132
Time frame: 9/05/2022 – 8/05/2024 (24 months)
Funding authority: Exectutive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)
Approved budget: 450.000 lei
Project team
Dr. Dana Monah – project leader
Dr. Ioana Petcu-Pădurean – project member
Dr. Simona Locic – project member
Project abstract
This project seeks to investigate the issue of adaptation and rewriting in contemporary dramatic text and performance. It aims to elucidate the ways in which adaptation and rewriting transmit canonical narratives, while also modifying the ways we read them, thus acting as both memory devices and carriers of cultural change. Drawing on the metaphor of “liquidity” used by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (2000) to describe modern society, we theorise contemporary adaptations and rewritings as extremenly unstable, liquid works, the result of complex interweavings between stage and text alterations, exhibiting both their structural dependence on the source work and the ambition to critically read its forms and meanings.
Based on a corpus of representative plays and performances (mainly from Western Europe and Canada), from the 1970s to the present, which adapt or rewrite canonical plays of the Western theatre, the project aims to identify and discuss some of the major patterns and shifts in narrative aesthetics of contemporary theatre, but also to highlight crossings and dialogues between the different practices (such as dramatic vs. stage rewriting). Thus, how the story is retold as a result of the appropriation process will be one of the main focusses of our research. The adaptors may choose to follow or, on the contrary, to unsettle the chronological sequence of events, to interrupt the story or to abandon the attempt to narrate it. We will also interrogate the act of narrating, the role of the narrator as a mediator between a present/absent story and the audience. We approach adaptations and rewritings as essentially intermediary, liquid works, haunted by the works they engage with and extremely prone to transform into different stories, as they are further appropriated by other playwrights and directors.
Expected results
The results of the project will be materialized in the following deliverables:
6 articles/ books chapters indexed in Web of Science/SCOPUS/CNCS A journals
6 conference participations (3 outside Romania)
At least 3 stays abroad, for documentation
A conference on adaptation and rewriting in contemporary theatre (Al. I. Cuza University in collaboration with George Enescu University)
A talk, addressed at a larger audience, at the French Institute in Iași
A webpage, for the dissemination of the results
Project plan
The project activities will be organized as stipulated in the work plan below:

Stage I (May-December 2022): establishing a corpus of representative plays and performances (mainly from Western Europe), from the 1970s to the present
Activity I. 1: establishing and updating of the theoretical framework of the project; survey of the theoretical literature on adaptation and rewriting; documentation in Romanian and international libraries, as well as online databases.
Activity I. 2: defining the broader and the narrow corpus of dramatic works and performances
Activity I. 4: conceiving and launching a call for papers for an international conference
Activity I. 5: creating the webpage of the project; intermediary scientific report
Dissemination: 1 article/book chapter, 2 conference participations.

Stage II (January-December 2023): proposing a typology of adaptation and rewriting practices in dramatic literature and performance
Activity II. 1. documentation, in Romania and abroad, in order to update the theoretical framework of the project; documentation on playwrights and directors included in the narrow corpus
Activity II. 2: identifying rewriting techniques in dramatic reworkings and performances (in-depth analysis of case studies and overview of existing theoretical literature)
Activity II. 3: identifying and charaterizing crossovers between textual and stage rewriting techniques (in-depth analysis of case studies and overview of existing theoretical literature)
Activity II. 4: theorizing stage production as adaptation/rewriting
Activity II. 5: elaborating a continuum of adaptive practices, inclugind the different categories we have identifyed
Activity II. 6: updating the web page of the project; intermediary scientific report
Dissemination: 3 articles/books chapters, 2 conference participations.

Stage III (January-May 2024): identifying relevant rewriting directions and strategies in the narrative aestehtics of contemporary theatre. Theorizing adaptations and rewritings as “liquid” works, in-between creative practice and essay, in-between the dramatic and the theatrical
Activity III. 1. documentation on playwrights and directors included in the corpus
Activity III. 2: identifying recurrent patterns and important shifts in contemporary adaptation and rewriting
Activity III. 3: analysing the metadramatic dimensions of adaptations and rewritings
Activity III. 4. organising a conference on adaptation and rewriting in contemporary theatre
Activity III. 5: synthesising the results of the research, in relation to the theoretical framework and its objectives.
Activity III. 6: updating the web page of the project
Dissemination: 2 articles/book chapters, 2 conference participations, organising an international conference
Summary of progress, 2022
Research stays
Dana Monah: International Shakespeare Festival, Craiova (19-26.05. 2022), National Library of France (1-8. 07. 2022; 12-23. 09. 2022).
Ioana Petcu-Pădurean Transversales Festival, Rennes ( 23-27. 11. 2022)
Articcles in national and international journals:
Dana Monah, „Becoming Lear: Shakespearean Appropriation and the Memory of Performance”, Cahiers Elisabéthains. (ISI)
Ioana Petcu-Pădurean, « Transition, resémantisation, autoréférentialité – adaptations de textes shakespeariens dans la vision d’Olivier Py », Thélème. Revista Complutense de Estudios Francese. (Scopus)
Papers presented at international conferences:
Dana Monah, « Comment raconter les massacres oubliés ? Radu Jude et Alexandra Bades », VIIe Séminaire international HISPOME Histoire et poétiques de la mémoire. De la postmémoire à la mémoire multidirectionnelle : espaces d’identité et processus de patrimonialisation, Université d’Alicante, 12-13 mai 2022.
Dana Monah, « ‘Pas de loup à fuir’ : poétiques de la lenteur dans la réécriture théâtrale contemporaine », Colloque International La Lenteur, Journées de la Francophonie, Université Alexandru Ioan Cuza de Iasi, 20-21 mai 2022.
Ioana Petcu-Pădurean, « Distances périlleuses. Reflets du voyage d’arrière-plan à l’intérieur des cités shakespeariennes – du texte aux images scéniques », Explorations, Dynamiques du déplacement en littérature, journée d’étude, le 25 novembre 2022, CELLAM / Université Rennes 2, Festival Transversales, 12e édition.

RST_Dana_Monah_2022 (1)

Colloque international Histoires liquides : pratiques d’adaptation et de réécriture dans le théâtre contemporain
6-7 octobre 2023


Raport stiintific 2023

Raport stiintific 2024