Dr Karen Fricker

Personal profile

My research treats the ways in which the processes of globalization affect, interact with, and are reflected in contemporary theatre and performance. I am currently writing a volume entitled Making Theatre Global: The creation, circulation, and reception of Robert Lepage’s original stage works, for Manchester University Press. In it I explore the ways in which the processes of globalization have shaped the corporate and producing structures through which the celebrated québécois director makes and tours his stage work, and the ways in which the form and subject matter of his work reflect globalization. I have been following Lepage's career for two decades, first as a journalist and observer of his creative proceses, and now as a scholar. I coordinated the publication of the playscript for Lepage and Ex Machina's 1990s epic The Seven Streams of the River Ota and have published scholarly articles on his work in outlets including Contemporary Theatre Review, The Routledge Guide to Director's Shakespeare, and Globe: Revue internationale d’études québécoises.

The AHRC-funded Eurovision and the ‘New’ Europe research network, which I co-direct with Milija Gluhovic from the University of Warwick, rests on the premise that the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is one of the most important expressions of ‘Europeanness’ on the European public scene, but that its significance as such is under-interrogated in academic and popular realms. The project thus aims to advance critical thinking about the ESC, focusing on the ways in which the Contest has reflected, and perhaps driven, changing perceptions and realities of Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The central published outcome of this project will be Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, Feelings, and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, a co-edited volume in the Studies in International Performance series at Palgrave Macmillan (editors: Janelle Reinelt and Brian Singleton), with a publication date in May 2013. The project has attracted considerable media interest including dedicated articles and interviews in The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and the CBC 1 (Canada) radio programme Q.

For a quick overview of the project, check out this podcast:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_s/research/eurovision/feeling_european/dusseldorf_podcast/

I am a professional theatre critic with a two-decade-long career in the US, Ireland, and the UK. I currently review for Variety (US) and Irish Theatre Magazine (which I co-founded in 2008), and have written and broadcast for, amongst others, The Guardian, The Irish Times, RTÉ radio and television (Ireland), The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times.

I welcome enquiries from potential research students whose work resonates with the subjects articulated here.

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