Communities of Imagination: Contemporary Southeast Asian by Catherine Diamond

By Catherine Diamond

This e-book explores the modern theatre of 9 Southeast Asian international locations. the writer examines modern functionality within the context of its historic precedents and exhibits the way it has been formed via neighborhood cultural practices and socio-political forces. The international locations lined are Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, and Malaysia.

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Like the nang ek, she is usually uneducated, but displays a craftiness and kind of masculine bravado with which she hopes to manipulate the masculine world that surrounds her. 17 The likay tradition split the female character into passive/good and aggressive/ bad, but which was Mae Naak? She embodies both the nang ek and the itcha, suggesting that while the two are separate personalities in likay narratives, there remains the suspicion that one lurks under the guise of the other. Mae Naak first appeared on stage during the reign of Rama VI (King Vajiravudh), when she was the first ghost to be featured in a play: “the plot basically involved an actress who played Mae Naak, a coffin and screaming people.

Implying that youthful pleasure in fashion and dance lead to drugs, sex, and theft, she reinserts the divide between native and foreign, traditional and modern, even old versus young rather than confront these conflicting forces coexisting in a single contemporary individual. As theatre, the nun’s sermon is not as compelling as the demon’s dance, and staging detachment has its inherent contradictions. That Buddhism has never completely fulfilled the needs of the Thai populace, especially women, is evinced by the continued popularity of Mae Naak’s story and the steady attendance at her shrine.

He easily won the elections because opposition parties boycotted them. After months of chaos, on September 19, 2006, while Thaksin was attending a meeting in New York, Thais awoke to news of a bloodless military coup, apparently with the king’s blessing. As the world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol exerts tremendous influence on most Thais because he personifies the spiritual as well as political center of the nation. While Thaksin’s bravado inspired street theatre satire, the drama most affiliated with the king is based on the Ramakien, the Thai Ramayana.

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