Spotlight on Conference Speaker – Natalya Baldyga

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Some of our delegates have shared examples of their recent and ongoing research and as a preview to our upcoming conference here is a taster of what interesting projects and research some of our speakers are engaged in:

Speaker: Natalya Baldyga, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Department of Drama and Dance, Tufts University

Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy: A New and Complete Translation

The site hosts the peer-to-peer review of the first complete, annotated English translation of G. E. Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy, translated by Wendy Arons and Sara Figal, and edited by Natalya Baldyga. The project is currently under contract with Routledge Press, which has allowed us to prepublish our work here for open review. The draft manuscript with comments will remain live here even after the translation has been published. The published book will incorporate comments and suggestions made here into the final version of the annotated translation, and it will be enhanced by the addition of critical introductions contributed by Wendy Arons, Natalya Baldyga, and Michael Chemers.

While Lessing made numerous contributions to aesthetic theory in his lifetime, the text that most cogently and comprehensively documents his dramatic theory—and the text that has had the greatest historical and intellectual influence on the practice and theory of theater—is the Hamburg Dramaturgy (Hamburgische Dramaturgie, 1767-1769). This  collection of 101 short essays represents one of the first sustained critical engagements with the potential of theater as a vehicle for the advancement of humanistic discourse.

We imagine that if Lessing were alive today, the interactive dialogue made possible by the open peer review platform hosted at mediacommons would appeal to him immensely; he was a firm believer in the value of discourse and criticism. He published his essays serially, in pamphlet form, over the course of two years; our translation will also appear serially, on this site, for three years beginning in the fall of 2012. [1] Our aim is to produce a translation that will engage contemporary Anglophone readers and convey the edgy liveliness that captivated eighteenth-century readers; this requires translation choices that may be open to debate, discussion, and even controversy. We invite Lessing scholars to weigh in on our word choices in translating theoretically significant terms; teachers and students of German to comment on our approach to decoding grammar and syntax; historians to give feedback on our annotations; and literary theorists and theater artists to dialogue with this historical text that, in many ways, speaks to modern concerns. For those wishing to consult the German text, a version can be found online at Project Gutenberg.  Our source text is from Werke und Briefe in zwölf Bänden. Herausgegeben von Wilfried Barner zusammen mit Klaus Bohnen … [et al.]. Frankfurt am Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, 1985-2003. Text in blue indicates material that is omitted by Helen Zimmern in her 1890 translation of The Hamburg Dramaturgy (reprinted by Dover in 1962).

The site is structured to allow you to engage with our work by holding conversations in the margins of the text. –

Full details available here:

Exhibition – ‘Yeats and the West’ now on at NUI Galway

Yeats Poster Jpg

Now open at the Hardiman Building, NUI Galway is a major new exhibition on the life, legacy and influences of W.B. Yeats.

William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature always looked west. Yeats & the West considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us.

For W.B. Yeats the west of Ireland was foundational. Sligo was his family home, and Galway was where he brought his own family. Significant events of his life were played out there; collaborations that changed his work were formed there.

The west of Ireland was the wellspring of Yeats’s imagination. A landscape of islands, stones, and solitary trees was the landscape of his poetry. The culture of the west, its history, its traditions of craft, story, and song shaped his sense of a past worth reviving and a present worth honouring, and by doing so shaped modern Ireland.

This cultural revolution occurred under western eyes. Yeats & the West describes the many artistic collaborations that centred on Coole Park, Galway, and highlights the gifted artists of Yeats’s own family.

It is true that Yeats often looked eastwards for philosophy, for religion, and all the arts in their service. But he turned west when grounding them. Yeats’s restoration of Thoor Ballylee, Galway, must be seen alongside the construction of his own poetry.

In fact Yeats’s most distant travels were to North America. Yeats & the West follows him and the Abbey players as they cross the Atlantic and bring back with them a renewed idea of the breadth of the western world.

Through images, words, film, and sound, using rare material from the NUI Galway’s collections and from around the world, Yeats & the West tells anew an old story: a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are.


Conference Bursary for APAC members now available!


The APAC (Association for Performing Arts Collections) Executive Committee would like to offer one £200 conference bursary for an APAC member to attend the International Conference Performing the Archive, held at NUI Galway, between 22-24 July 2015.

APAC Ex-Com felt that this major conference held by our APAC member in Galway would be of interest to some of you and that we should provide an opportunity for those of you interested in the conference and its programme, but who may not be able to raise the necessary funds.

The bursary:

£200 is the amount awarded towards the cost of attending the conference and may be used for travel, accommodation, conference fee, etc. Unfortunately APAC is unable to cover any further costs above £200.

To qualify:

Applications are open to APAC members only and need to be submitted to Ramona Riedzewski ( by Thursday, 18 June, 12noon.

No more than one person from an APAC institutional member can apply.

To apply:

Please submit the requested details by email. There is no form to complete.

In order to apply for the APAC conference bursary, please submit the following information by email:

  • Your name
  • APAC membership (please state, whether you are an individual member or your organisation):
  • Give a brief outline (no more than 300 words), why you would like to attend the conference, including how attendance at the conference helps your own interest/research/personal development.

Selection process:

The APAC Ex-Com will review received applications and make a decision by Tuesday, 23 June. We will then be in touch with all applicants informing them of the decision and allow the successful applicant sufficient time to make travel arrangements.


The successful candidate is expected to prepare a newsletter article for the APAC newsletter and if possible to give a brief update at one of the next APAC meetings.

In addition, it would also be preferable, if the successful candidate might be able to tweet and/or send facebook updates during the conference, in order to keep other APAC members, who are not able to come to the conference, informed.

Conference Schedule Now Available

* Provisional Schedule and Subject to Change *

Wednesday 22nd July 2015

9-9:30am                     Registration and coffee

9:30-10am                   Welcome

10-11:30am                 Plenary One: Abbey Theatre Digital Archive

Professor Patrick Lonergan             (National University of Ireland, Galway)

“Reading the Digital Theatre Archive”

 John Cox, University Librarian (NUI Galway)

Martin Bradley, Archival Consultant, Archives Ireland

“Archiving the Performance – The Abbey Theatre Archive Digitisation Project at NUI Galway”

  11:30-11:45am             Coffee break

11:45am-1:15pm        Concurrent Paper Session: One

  1. Archives, the Live and the Making of Meaning

Tanya Dean                                         (Yale University & NUI Galway)

How Live is Live? Considering Theatre Broadcasts as Performances of Archival Process  

 Louise Ritchie                                     (Aberystwyth University)

Hactivating the archive          


Patrick Finn                                         (University of Calgary)

Dramatic Data: A Case Study in Collective Meaning-Making

  1. Manuscripts, Data & Digital Texts

Hannah Elizabeth Allan          (Manchester University/Manchester School of Art)

The Fluxus score as text archive of past and future performance      


Natalya Baldyga                     (Tufts University)

The Accidental (Digital) Archivist Considers Carlo Gozzi


Jenny Rogers                           (University College Cork)

Scripting the Archive: A Contemporary Lens on the Past


Lauren Benke                          (University of Denver/Trinity College Dublin)

Gesture, Intimacy and the Archive: The Case of Contemporary Artists’ Books         


Jennifer Roberts-Smith, Kathryn Harvey, Liza Griffen         (University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, Stratford Festival)

Reconfiguring Archival Catalogue Metadata 


  1. Access, Collection and Exhibition

Jane Gallagher            (University of Kent)

Performing at the Crossroads


Liza Penn-Thomas      (Swansea University)

The Unwritten Theatre Tradition of Wales 1900-1950″


Ellen Murphy              (Dublin City Library & Archive)

Collections, Performance and Exhibition: Case-Study of Outreach Activities at the Irish Theatre Archive  


  1. Memory as Re-Presentation

Steven Paige                           (Plymouth University)

The Ties That Bind: Reusing Online Archival as an Interdisciplinary Artist  


Janine Cowell                          (University of Bristol/University of Exeter)

Someday Just Began: Meeting, Making and Mounting memories in the Field


Emma Meehan                        (University of Coventry)

Revisiting Lunar Parables: The Archives of Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre  


1:15-2:15pm                 Lunch

2:15-3:45pm                Concurrent Paper Session: Two

  1. Archives and the City

Stanislava Slavica Stojan        (Institute for History of Croatian Academy)

Records of the Criminal Court (1550 – 1800) and Performing Theatre        


Adrian Palka                           (Coventry University)

Iron Curtain:  Resonance and Reminiscence 


Marina Ni Dhubhain               (NUI Galway)

What Makes Oral History Performance Different?    

6. Contesting Race and Ethnicity in/through the Archives

Rhona Justice-Malloy             (University of Missisippi)

The Chicago Defender and Archival Research          


April Sizemore-Barber            (Georgetown University)

Queering ‘Coloured’ and Colouring Queer: The Sequins, Self, and Struggle Project and the Miss Gay South Africa Pageant archives

Jennifer Shook                        (University of Iowa)

Native American Dramatists and the Archive

  1. Researching Dance in and Through Archives: Leeds Beckett University

Rachel Krische

The Body As Archive: Encountering, Making and Performing “Table of Contents”

With Siobhan Davies Dance


Lisa Kendall

Sawing The Legs Off Chairs: Considering The Dialogues Of The Moving

Body As Site And The Archive “In A String Section”.


Laura Griffiths

Archiving Dance: reconsidering the role and value of the body as an

archival material

  1. Traces of the Audience: Embodiments of the Archive

Blake Morris                                       (University of East London)

Walking the Digital Archive   


Florence March and Benoît Larbiou   (University Paul-Valery Montpellier and Cultural Service of the Frontignan Council)

The Spectator as a Living Archive


Aletia M. Badenhorst                                     (Leeds Beckett University)

Making Archives Live 


Erin Grogan                                        (Texas Tech University)

Digital Anxiety – Multimedia Scenography in Fire Island     

3:45-4:00pm               Coffee and Biscuits

4:00-5:30pm               Plenary Two

Tracy Davis               (Northwestern University)

‘Work Time, Social Time, Leisure Time, Private Time’


5:30pm                       Opening Reception

Thursday 23rd July 2015

9:00-10:30am             Concurrent Paper Session: Three

  1. Shakespeare and the Archive

Elizabeth Jeffery                     (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)

Puck: A Performance History


Sally Barnden                         (King’s College, London)

Liveness, Photography and the RSC’s Dreams, 1954-77


Brittany LaPole                       (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)

Faster than the speed of light: An evolutionary look at Digital Humanities

through Shakespeare scholarship      


Emer McHugh                        (National University of Ireland, Galway)

A shared language: placing and displacing Shakespeare within the Irish national theatrical repertoire

Archival Perspectives on The Gate Theatre’s Internationalism

Ruud van den Beuken and Des Lally (Radboud University Nijmegen & NUI Galway)

Let’s Give the Mantle of Harlequin a Brush: Stimulating Research on the Dublin Gate Theatre Archive at Northwestern University


Mary Clark                                          (Dublin City Library & Archive)

Michael and Hilton Still in Dublin     


  1. Samuel Beckett and the Archives

Matthew McFrederick            (University of Reading)

Staging Waiting for Godot at 60: The Arts Theatre and the archive  


Kristin Jones                           (National University of Ireland, Galway)

‘Keep An Eye on That Too’: Visualising the Archives of Samuel Beckett


Niamh Mary Bowe                 (University of Reading)

Performing Trauma and Samuel Beckett’s Kilcool Manuscript         

  1. Theatre Practitioners and the Archives

Rosemary K.J. Davis              Amherst College

The Samuel French Archive at Amherst College


Catherine Trenchfield             Royal Holloway, University of London

The Kneehigh Archive & The Asylum – Archive and ‘Repertoire’


Varvara Sklez                          Theatrum Mundi, Independent Theatre Lab

Archive as Performance: Historiography of Erzy Grotowski

  1. Discovering British Archives

Rachel Foss and Stella Wisdom         (The British Library)

Collaborative Creativity: Archival Personae at the British Library


Erin Lee                                              (The National Theatre)

The National Theatre of Great Britain and the International Stage


Ramona Riedzewski                           (The Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

Discovering Local, National and International Performance in the Theatre and Performance Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London


10:30-10:45am                       Coffee


10:45am-12:15pm                  Plenary Three


‘Archives and the Performing Artist’


Louise Lowe (ANU Productions)

Paula McFetridge (Kabosh Productions)

Joan Sheehy (Limerick City of Culture, The Colleen Bawn Trials)

Colin Murphy (Journalist and playwright/screenwriter, Guaranteed)

Dr. Fearghal McGarry (School of History, Queen’s University Belfast)

Chair: Miriam Haughton


12:15-1:15pm                        Lunch


1:15-2:45pm               Concurrent Paper Session: Four

  1. The Unmarked in Irish Theatre Archives

Ciara Conway                         (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Staging Absence for Digital Historiography  


Elizabeth Howard                   (Waterford Institute of Technology)

Proclaiming the Professional: Red Kettle Theatre Company 1985-1989      


Brenda Donoghue                   (Trinity College Dublin)

Performing the Archives: tracing the presence of female playwrights in the cultural memory of the Abbey Archive 1995-2014                  

15. ‘Scriptive Things’: Objects in/as the Archive

Teresa Murjas                          (University of Reading)

Surviving Objects


James Rattee                           (University of Reading)

Reading the Biscuit Town


Sonya Chenery                        (University of Reading)

Remediating Traces   


 Community, Folk Theatre and the Archive

Daithí Kearney                        (Dundalk Institute of Technology)

Seeking Inspiration, Reliving Lives: The Role of Archives in Irish Folk Theatre


Ann Folino White                   (Michigan State University)

Celebrated Actor Folks’ Cookeries: Performing in a Collection and Online


Mary Elizabeth Lange             (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)

Applied Storytelling in post-conflict community museums: District Six and Free Derry


  1. Locations/Locutions: Site-ing the Archive

Nela Millic                              (Goldsmiths and Middlesex University)

Materialising Site       


Lauren Graffin                        (University of Ulster)

BTBT Portrait of a City Archive        


Trish McTighe                         (University of Reading)

In Caves, in Ruins: Place as Archive at the ‘Happy Days Beckett Festival’  


2:45-3pm                    Coffee Break

3-4:30pm        Working Group Session – Breakout Groups

  • Digitisation: Methodology and Ethics: led by Maria Ryan/Aisling Keane
  • War, Post-Conflict and Archival Ethics: led by Miriam Haughton, Catherine Cole and Kieran Hoare.
  • Modern Irish Theatre-Opening the Archives: led by Barry Houlihan and Ian Walsh
  • Archival Materials In/As Performance: led by Charlotte McIvor, Fearghal McGarry, Colin Murphy
  • Scenography and Theatre Technologies: led by Siobhan O’Gorman and Joe Vanek

4:30-4:45pm              Coffee and Biscuits

4:45-6:15pm               Plenary Four

Dr. Hugh Denard                  (Trinity College Dublin)

‘Lost Theatres: Explorations in Irish Theatre History and Historiography’


Dr. Doug Reside                 (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Curator of Billy Rose Theatre Division)

‘Who Tells Your Story? Preserving the Performing Arts’

Friday 24th July 2015

9:00-10:30am             Concurrent Paper Session: Five

  1. European Perspectives: National Memory and Performing the Archive

Monika Meilutytė                   (Kultūros braai)

Ethics of Representing Archival Materials in Exposition and Performance:

The Case of Lithuania


Claudia Madeira                     (FCSH-New University of Lisbon)

An Excessively Noisy Silence: Relationship Between Art and Colonial War in Portugal


Magdalena Rewerenda           (Adam Mickiewicz University)

‘Archive Re-Thinkers’ –Strategies of Performing the Archive in Polish Contemporary Theater – ‘Archive Re-Generation’?


Michael Pearson                      (Aberystwyth University)

The Preservation of Digital Archives in the National Library of Wales         


  1. Theatre in Northern Ireland through the Archives

Eilis Smyth                              (The Shakespeare Institute, Birmingham University)

The Bard in Belfast: Staging Shakespeare During the Troubles


John Riddell                            (Theatre Projects Consultants)

The Archive and the lost spaces of Belfast’s Arts Theatre      


Conor O’Malley                      (Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht)

Performing the Troubles at the Lyric 1970 -1981      


  1. Performing the Jewish Archive: Looking Forward through the Past

Kate Wheeler                          (The National Archives)

Why Arts Archives?


Lisa Peschel                            (University of York)

Performing the Historical Context of a Cabaret…


Simo Muir                               (University of Leeds)

Between Two Worlds and Performances


  1. Tracy Ryan’s Strike! (2010): Archiving, Memorialising, and Performing an Irish Response to the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement


Shelley Troupe and Tracey Ryan        (Maynooth University and University of Sussex)

10:30-10:45am           Coffee

10:45-12:15pm           Plenary Five

‘Performing the Archives: Irish Women Playwrights of the 1930s and 40s’


Elizabeth Connor’s Mount Prospect (1940) and other work TBC

Adapted by Ciara O’Dowd (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Directed by Thomas Conway (Druid Director in Residence at NUI, Galway)

Featuring students from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway


12:15-1:15pm             Lunch


1:15-2:45pm                Concurrent Paper Session: Six

  1. Archives and Popular Performance

Elspeth Millar                          (University of Kent)

Establishing the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive   


Conor Doyle                           (Independent Scholar)

Dublin’s Theatre Royal          


Sara Benoist                            (University of Paris-Sorbonne, France)

Circus Research Through Time: Private Collections, Public Archives, the “Dedicated Amateur”, and the Scholar           


  1. Revisiting Scripts from the Archives

David Clare                             (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Compiling a New, Composite Draft of Synge’s “When the Moon Has Set”  


Claire Read                             (Roehampton University)

Pondering Plato         


Adele Redhead                       (University of Glasgow)

The Eucharist and Performance        

  1. Objects & Ephemera within The Archive

Hannah Manktelow                (University of Nottingham/The British Library)

Reclaiming Regional Theatre History with the British Library Playbill Collection   


Katherine Johnson                  (Sheffield Hallam University)

Can Ephemera Endure?: Performance Archives Live, Living and Online


Susan Brady (Beinecke Library, Yale University)

Helice Koffler

The American Theatre Archive Project          


  1. Visual Archives: Photos, Images and the Repertoire

Rachel Emily Taylor                           (Sheffield Hallam University)

Photographic Documentation Foundling Museum


Allan Taylor                                        (Falmouth University)

From Presence to Performativity: What the Still Image Does


Jihay Park                                            (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Still/Moving: Blending the Archive and the Repertoire


2:45-3:00pm                Coffee Break


3-5pm                          Plenary Six

 ‘Archives, Memory, Politics’

Emilie Pine (University College, Dublin), ‘Performing the Everyday Archive’

Lionel Pilkington (National University of Ireland, Galway), ‘“Who dares to speak of that which is not authorized?”: Archive-based research and the meaning of the Humanities’

Catherine Cole,  (University of California, Berkeley) ‘Performance Remains, (Non) Returns and Misfires: Ishi’s Survivance at Berkeley’


5-5:15pm                     Break


5:15-6:30pm                Closing Roundtable

Postgraduate Travel Bursaries Available!


With a week still to go for submissions for ‘Performing the Archive’ conference, we are delighted to announce POSTGRADUATE TRAVEL BURSARIES! 

A limited number of €250 postgraduate travel bursaries that also entitles you to free registration will be available for those travelling to attend the conference.

To apply, please submit a 250 word statement outlining your reasons for attending this conference in relationship to your current research and career trajectory and a copy of your current CV.

Postgraduate travel bursary applications should be submitted to by 15 May 2015.

These postgraduate bursaries are made possible by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme.

Arthur Shields – The 1916 Rising on the Street, Stage and Screen

On the 11th February 1926, rioting greeted the Abbey Theatre performance of Sean O’Casey’s “The Plough and the Stars” because of what was viewed as it’s anti-Irish sentiment. Yeats tells the audience “You have disgraced yourselves again”.

From the Arthur Shields Family Collection is a photograph from that production, featuring G Fallon, Arthur Shields, FJ McCormack and Shelah Richards(T13/B/246). In spite of the controversy surrounding aspects of the play, it played to full houses, and had many re-runs and revivals, as well as a film version in 1937.

Arthur Shields in “The Plough and the Stars”, 1926. T13/B/246 Hardiman Library

In a reply to critics, printed in “The Irish Times” on 19 February 1926, O’Casey tackled some of the criticisms of the play, and went on to state.

The politicians – Free State and Republican – have the platform to express themselves, and Heavens knows they seem to take full advantage of it. The drama is my place for self-expression, and I claim the liberty in drama that they enjoy on the platform (and how they do enjoy it!), and am prepared to fight for it.

In a unique twist, Arthur Shields, an actor and stage manager at the Abbey Theatre, was also an active participant in the Easter Rising of 1916, would star in the 1926 production of “The Plough and the Stars” at the Abbey Theatre and also feature in the 1936 film version of “Plough and the Stars”, directed by John Ford.

For more on productions of “The Plough and the Stars” check out the Shields Family Collection at and programmes from the various Abbey Theatre productions of ‘The Plough and the Stars’ as part of the abbey Theatre Digital Archive, available at the Hardiman Library.