The Melloniad 2013

Martin marched us off to Goethe’s drum
And put the mundi back in theatrum.
Dodging the bullet of Orientalism,
“World theatre” became rallying cry and prism.David S. took Rocky: Das Musical’s measure,
Producing a queer sort of materialist pleasure.
The Great White Way performed its global branding,
A phantasmatic strip without a landing.
In seminar, capital’s invisible hand
Pulled the strings as ghostly high command;
While across the hall, where world tours advanced,
How could we tell the dancers from the danced?
Aparna traced how Indian multilingualism
Led to an “indecipherable modernism.”
New Modernists must leave their comfort zones
And learn to hang up trusty Europhones.
Tore R. reconstructed Ibsenism
As cannily productive provincialism.
If you, too, wish to be Nortonized someday,
His best advice was: try to hail from Norway.
Just when the Mellonites were getting weary,
Enter Chris B. and actor network theory.
World theatre can now finally find its place
As digital knowledge mapped in cyberspace.
Elin D. took us back to Mr. Steiner
and Churchill as post-human tragedy’s refiner;
With fairies as discrete material system,
No wonder so many humanists have missed ’em.
Jon M. sent the Mellonites back to college,
Inviting us to remediate all knowledge.
Performative scholarship brooks no obstruction—
So seize the means of digital production!
By now, our confidence began to teeter:
Has global performance just become McTheatre?
Though suffering some conceptual rheumatism,
And showing distinct signs of post-humanism,
Post-human, post-Mellon, even post-Empire,
World Theatre turns in its ever-widening gyre.
With Yeats we paused where at least some ladders start,
In the foul rag and bone shop of High Art.

See also: Andrew Sofer