Titus Anonymous: fragments of...

Johnmichael Rossi, Sarah Mullan, Rory ONeill

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Welcome to TITUS ANONYMOUS where ‘Rome is Rome is a fiction is Rome.’ During the 2017-18 academic year, Drama students at the University of Northampton (UK) were tasked with deconstructing Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus in a collaborative process with their tutors, who modelled their own creative and professional practices as theatre-makers. The students were challenged with the need to find contemporary relevance and resonance in this early Shakespeare work, which many scholars argue is the bard’s most flawed text. Rossi, who led the process, argues that Titus is the work of a young practitioner experimenting with the form of the revenge tragedy, and establishes ground for absurdist theatre, which wouldn’t take shape until centuries later. The term-long exploration and reconstruction of the text led to our need to grapple with the racist language exchanged between Shakespeare’s Romans and Goths in light of the Black Lives Matter movement; and overt misogyny in both language and action; no longer norms but points of critical debate through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. To add to the complexity of this process; student learning around professional practices of theatre-making was framed by an experimentation in DIY Theatre aesthetics, working with a limited budget but a wealth of space, a robust costume, props and set stock, and the power of our collective imagination. This text represents ‘fragments of’ the process, including the final script, production design details, reflective essays by students, and introductory essays by Drama tutors, Sarah Mullan and Rory O’Neill, writing from their unique perspective in their roles as Dramaturg and Actor, respectively. These fragments aim to give a sense of the hybridized world that was inspired by the Wild West, Ancient Rome, pop culture and today’s political landscape; while hopefully providing interpretive space for future theatre-makers to develop their own production concept.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Number of pages134
ISBN (Print)1725907259, 9781725907256
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2018


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