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From dramaturgy to theatre as technology : the case of corporate theatre.

Clark, T. and Mangham, I. (2004) 'From dramaturgy to theatre as technology : the case of corporate theatre.', Journal of management studies., 41 (1). pp. 37-59.


This article examines a piece of corporate theatre. Although theatre has entered organization studies through the dramatistic writing of Kenneth Burke and the dramaturgical writings of Erving Goffman, this article is concerned with an approach variously described as organizational, radical, situation or corporate theatre that treats theatre not primarily as a resource, an ontology or a metaphor but as a technology. This approach involves the deployment by an organization of dramatists, actors, directors, set designers, lighting specialists, and musicians to put on performances in front of audiences. Using frameworks derived from studies of theatre a particular piece of corporate theatre is described and analysed. It is argued that this form of theatre appears to be used to contain reflection and to promote the views of a particular group within an organization. It does not confront an audience but subtly suggests alternative ways of evaluating, construing and understanding issues. This may be achieved by anaesthetizing audience reaction by encouraging imaginative participation in the performance so that cherished beliefs and values do not appear to be directly challenged.

Item Type:Article
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Record Created:19 Feb 2008
Last Modified:29 Jul 2010 15:19

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