Theatre as a vortex of behaviour in Dutch multicultural society
In 2001, a music theatre production exploring Islam’s early history from a female perspective was shut down before it reached the stage. The cancellation of Aïsha and the Women of Madina by Rotterdam’s Independent Theatre (O.T.) generated a media storm as speculations about censorship mounted. To unravel this performative non-event, this dissertation consolidates cultural analysis, discourse analysis and actor-network theory in an interdisciplinary approach. The cancellation exposed the theatre as an arena of conflict where issues of multiculturalism and freedom of speech collided well before the major events of 9/11 and the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh.