22.6 Under the Influence



Issue editor: Jim Drobnick



Being “under the influence” conveys contradictory meanings. While designating impairment, it also connotes the unleashing of creative inspiration. Such a contrast is typical of the discourse on drugs, which in different contexts can bring about liberatory, therapeutic, spiritual or deleterious effects. This special issue explores how performance mobilizes intoxication and altered states. How do narcotics, psychedelics, and other stimulants destabilize the norms of theatricality? What impact does inebriation or addiction have on notions of artistic agency and ethics? Featuring perspectives from historians, critics and practitioners, this issue stakes out the multifaceted ways that artists have responded to drugs and addressed their socio-political implications.


Jim Drobnick

The Aristocrat of Harlem : Slumming, immersion and intoxication in prohibition-era New York City
Chloë Rae Edmonson

Dispensing with the Law : Measuring alcohol and its effects in Shower Party
Asher Warren

I Don’t Belong Here : Living under transatlantic influence
Fernando Matos de Oliveira

Inebriationism : Alcohol, performance and paradox
Jim Drobnick

Jeremy Shaw’s DMT : Curating psychedelic experience
Jennifer Fisher

Arousing Formlessness : Collaborative encounters with chemotherapy
Caro Novella

“Riddle Coma” : Enthralment at the Neuro-receptor Theatre
Ray Langenbach

Aestheticizing Addiction to Generate Change : An exploration of performance practice with biographical drug-use narratives
Cathy Sloan

Outside Edge’s Theatre for Recovery : Reshaping influence and the addict identity
James Reynolds

‘It Blows My Mind’ : Intoxicated performances by Ridiculusmus
Richard Talbot

Unstyled (review)
Justine Hobbs

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