Mediation and mediators in the history plays of Sharon Pollock and Jovette Marchessault
Mediation and Mediators in the History Plays of Sharon Pollock and Jovette Marchessault provides analysis of historical, cultural and theatrical mediation in the authors' history-based dramas with particular focus on The Komagata Maru Incident and Madame Blavatsky, spirite . In their dramas the playwrights typically re-mediate history in order to challenge official versions of the past and to encourage audiences to question their cultural heritage and collective memory. The thesis examines various kinds of mediators, including: (1) characters within the dramas who are professional mediators attempting to resolve social or political conflicts, artists who mediate through writing, performance or painting, and mediums who access a transcendent, spiritual realm; (2) meta-dramatic characters who act as narrators and intervene between the worlds of the play and of the audience, and finally, (3) the playwrights themselves whose plays are mediations of historical events. The thesis concludes that Pollock's plays display the indeterminacy of mediation and suggest that conflicts are the fabric of life and must be continually addressed and (re)solved, whereas Marchessault's history plays defy official history by presenting forms of cultural and spiritual mediation in which creative and gifted women oppose patriarchy and achieve altruistic and transcendental goals.