Mark Berninger, Bernhard Reitz, eds.
Ethical Debates in Contemporary Theatre and Drama
Contemporary Drama in English 19.
Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2012.
ISBN 978-3-86821-377-5, EUR 26,50.
The scholarly essays collected in this volume illuminate the renewed interest of contemporary theatre and drama in English in discussions of ethical dilemma. They address questions posed by numerous recent plays about the nature of ethical decisions in complex circumstances at the beginning of the 21st century. Taken together, they show in great detail how, in opposition to the political drama of the 1960s and 70s, contemporary theatre and drama finds it difficult to identify positions of moral superiority and rather engages in performances of open debates about just war, the drawbacks of humanitarian aid, the entanglements of global economic crisis, or the multi-layered ethics of memory. This also includes, as the articles further illustrate, an inquiry into the ethics of theatrical representation and the moral implications of spectatorship. The collection is rounded off by contributions by three British playwrights (Rona Munro, Julia Pascal, and Alistair Beaton) who explain the ethical dimension which informs their writing.