(Re)Creation Processes: Milo Rau and the International Institute of Political Murder

  • Author / Creator
    Climenhaga, Lily M
  • In 2008 Swiss theatre-maker Milo Rau and a group of collaborators founded the production company the International Institute of Political Murder. Since 2008, Rau and company have created a unique and identifiable brand of documentary-inspired political theatre. Early IIPM projects such as Die letzten Tage der Ceausescus (2009) garnered significant attention for their contribution to the genre of reenactment; however, this early success led to the term reenactment serving as an umbrella term used to describe Rau’s work. Pulling from the IIPM’s body of work between 2008 to 2020, (Re)Creation Processes: Milo Rau and the International Institute of Political Murder identifies and dissects the distinctive organisational categories of the company’s oeuvre: reenactment (e.g. Hate Radio, 2011), recollection (e.g. Empire, 2016), and reactment (e.g. Das Kongo Tribunal, 2015). This dissertation offers a broad overview of Rau’s oeuvre, while also exploring sources for the work. It situates the IIPM’s productions within historical and contemporary political performance traditions such as lay and artistic reenactment, documentary theatre, Verbatim theatre, and global artivist performative interventions. Working with a massive collection of critical and artistic sources, including live and recorded performances, this study engages in a process of performance and reception analysis, revealing commonalities and differences between productions and organisational categories. It poses questions about the use of autoethnography within various production forms, the role reenactment techniques play across Rau’s oeuvre, the problematic centrality of the director himself, and ultimately analyses the successes and shortcomings of IIPM productions and political actions. In an appendix, (Re)Creation Processes also takes an in-depth look at Hate Radio, closely examining its performance, the text, the source material, and the reception of one of Rau’s most internationally successful repertoire productions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.