In Colonial times, ‘masters’ would often send ‘slaves’ to hold their place in theatre auditoriums before the show. Some of them may well have stayed to watch the whole play, but we do not know how those performances were received and what impact enslaved people involved elsewhere in theatrical life had in the Colonial Caribbean and beyond.
Wrestling with the ugly reality that the voiceless and nameless were anything but, Catherine Bisset explores the meaning of space and spectacle when the politics of visibility come into play. Set in motion by academic research carried out by members of the Colonial-Era Caribbean Theatre and Opera Network, a cross-institutional endeavour chaired at St Andrews, Bisset delivers an engaging new work. Hoping to turn silence into speculation into reclamation and attestation, Placeholder takes as its starting point the idea that the gaps in the archives, the lacunae in texts, and the holes in the narrative are themselves acts of violence and suppression.