Logo Utrecht University

Dramaturgy Database

The Natural Environment is more than just Décor: Ecocritical Points of Departure in Contemporary Theatre studies, the First Step in Quest of Slovak Eco-dramaturgy.

The paper focuses on the mapping out of the current ecocritical discourse in drama
and theatre. The theoretical approach examines models, productions, and various forms of performance
with regard to the reflection on the impact of human activity on the environment.
Current approaches make it possible, inter alia, to give prominence to works dealing with the
relationship between man and his natural environment which, until recently, have been overlooked.
There are various methods to analyse a work through ecological narrative, yet, there are
simple tools that facilitate this work. Among these tools is the questionnaire of the American
theatrologist Theresa J. May entitled Some Green Questions to Ask a Play. This theoretical tool
was employed in the analysis of the play Margaret zo zámku [Margaret from the Castle] by the
Slovak playwright Štefan Králik. One of his last plays, which has not resonated particularly
well with the critique, seems to be a key contribution to the Slovak so-called eco-dramaturgy. At
the same time, the study raises the question of the perception of ecologically committed plays
originating in the Eastern Bloc countries and burdened with the ideology of their time. This is
a specific situation that the ecocritically oriented researchers in Western countries have not been
confronted with, and at the same time, it poses a challenge to the whole Eastern ecocriticism.

Juráni, Milo. ‘The Natural Environment is More Than Just Décor. Ecocritical Points of Departure in Contemporary Theatre Studies, the First Step in Quest of Slovak Eco-dramaturgy’. Slovenské divadlo /The Slovak Theatre 67, nr. 3 (14 oktober 2019). https://doi.org/10.31577/sd-2019-0013.