Didier Plassard:

 

Edward Gordon Craig’s Drama for Fools and Shakespeare

Edward Gordon Craig’s Drama for Fools was written during the 1st World War, but rewritten all his life long. It is an unachieved cycle of plays for puppets which remained almost completely unpublished till its first bilingual edition based on the Institut International de la Marionnette’s collection of manuscripts. Two Shakespearean parodies are included among the almost thirty plays we can retain as achieved: Romeo and Juliet… 300 years old, written for the third Centenary of Bard’s death, and Once upon a time, after King Lear. In both of them, Craig creates a comic gap between the Renaissance and the contemporary society, showing how love and politics in the 20th Century differ from their representation in Shakespeare’s tragedies. More seriously, Craig’s annotations for his project reveal his reflections upon the Shakespearean dramaturgy and its possible staging with puppets.

 

Didier Plassard, completed a PhD in Theatre Studies at the Université Paris 3 in 1989. He was from 1990 assistant professor, from 1996 till 2009 full professor in Comparative Literature and Theatre Studies at the Université Rennes 2. Since 2009, he is a full professor in Theatre Studies in the Université Paul Valéry (Montpellier 3). He also teaches in professional theatre schools, has been invited for conferences and lectures in various European countries and in Canada. His research fields include many aspects of contemporary drama and contemporary stage, puppetry, avant-garde theatre, relations between theatre and images, etc. He has published more than a hundred articles in academic journals and collective works, as well as many translations and interviews. In 2012, he received the Sirena d’oro Award for his research and teaching in puppetry. He is currently preparing a special issue of the art journal Art Press about contemporary puppetry (September 2015).