Code-Choice and Identity Construction on Stage challenges the general assumption that language is only one of the codes employed in a theatrical performance; Sirkku Aaltonen changes the perspective to the audience, foregrounding the chosen language variety as a trigger for their reactions.
Theatre is 'the most public of arts', closely interwoven with contemporary society, and language is a crucial tool for establishing order. In this book, Aaltonen explores the ways in which chosen languages on stage can lead to rejection or tolerance in diglossic situations, where one language is considered unequal to another. Through a selection of carefully chosen case studies, the socio-political rather than artistic motivation behind code-choice emerges. By identifying common features of these contexts and the implications of theatre in the wider world, this book sheds light on high versus low culture, the role of translation, and the significance of traditional and emerging theatrical conventions.
This intriguing study encompassing Ireland, Scotland, Quebec, Finland and Egypt, cleverly employs the perspective of familiarising the foreign and is invaluable reading for those interested in theatre and performance, translation, and the connection between language and society.
Sirkku Aaltonen is one of the pioneers in the study of drama and theatre translation. She is an affiliated researcher at the University of Vaasa, Finland and a visiting Researcher at Effat Socio-Cultural Studies Research Center at Effat University in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Introduction; 1 'Raw' and 'cooked' linguistic identities; 2 Threshold of tolerance overstepped: rejection; 3 Acceptance of linguistic code: fostering and affirming identity; 4 Changes in receoption; Conclusions