Articles

The Irruption of Real Violence: The Open Dramaturgy of Theatrical Mock Trials and Milo Rau’s The Moscow Trials

Author
  • Kfir Lapid-Mashall (University of Glasgow)

Abstract

This article introduces a pathway for considering the political in theatrical performances which simulate an open and undetermined judicial proceeding directed at an audience, here termed Theatrical Mock Trials. The article presents a definition of the mock trial as an educational practice, decodes its theatricality, and discusses its pedagogical benefits in developing political insight and critical thinking. Employing the logic of the mock trial, the article proposes conceptualizing Theatrical Mock Trials through their postdramatic open dramaturgy. This dramaturgy, it is argued, devises a space within such theatrical trials for the emergence of the real, and by that provokes critical spectatorship. The article then analyses Milo Rau’s The Moscow Trials (2013) as a Theatrical Mock Trial and demonstrates how its open dramaturgy resulted in the irruption of real violence. Such dramaturgy of Theatrical Mock Trials, it is argued, engaged the audience in a political and critical surveying of the authoritative judicial mechanism. 

Keywords: political theater, mock trial, irruption of the real, Milo Rau, The Moscow Trials

How to Cite:

Lapid-Mashall, K., (2023) “The Irruption of Real Violence: The Open Dramaturgy of Theatrical Mock Trials and Milo Rau’s The Moscow Trials”, Documenta 41(2): 2, 29-51. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/documenta.90029

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Published on
20 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed