book reviews Transnational THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC: REGIONAL MODERNITIES IN THE GLOBAL ERA. By Denise Varney, Peter Eckersall, Chris Hudson, and Barbara Hatley. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 253 pp. Hardcover, $85.00. This book embodies the tension(s) inherent in its own topic. It seeks to explore the similarities and differences in regional performance in four Asian nations. "This book offers a series of case studies that explore theatre practice in Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore, chosen for their contrasting histories and cultures, to show how theatre produces transformations at national, regional, and global levels" (p. 1). It is also not coincidental that those nations are also the respective areas of expertise of the four authors. Australian identity is hybrid, European settler culture both incorporating and being resisted by indigenous culture, which has its own modernity. Japan is different in that it chose modernity, rather than having it imposed as part of colonialism, and it has been grappling with its own modern identity for a century and a half. In contrast, Indonesia is recently postcolonial and emerging from an extended dictatorship, while Singapore evinces hypermodernity and a hybrid culture as a much smaller city-state with different ethnic identities
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Feb 15, 2017
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