Ethics of Play in Earpiece Performances by Nature Theater of Oklahoma and Gob Squad
In Rhapsody for the Theatre, Badiou propped the notion of the ethics of play against a theory of the subject that had yet to be fully deployed. His reflection remains tentative and he simply suggests ‘that the actor could very well show a subject without substance,’ that ‘always between-two, [the ethics of play] operates in the pure present of the spectacle, and the public […] gains access to this present only in the aftermath of a thought,’ and ultimately that ‘the ethics of play is that of an escape’ (Badiou 2008, 216, 221). There is a delay at work in the ethics of play, an in-between. By looking at Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Life and Times and Gob Squad’s Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You never Had It So Good), this article proposes to examine how an ethics of play could be materially deployed in these earpiece performances through the delay, albeit minimal, the in-between text or instruction and their actualisation on stage.
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