Artist: Donovan King
Date of Action: January 2002
Region: North America
Location: University of Calgary, Alberta
Medium: Performance Art, Theatre "Theatre" is not in the list (Commercial Advertising, Dance, Design, Installation, Journalism, Literature, Mixed Media, Music, Online, Painting, ...) of allowed values for the "Has medium" property.
Confronting Bodies: The Department of Drama and the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary, Alberta
Description of Artwork: A great description of the meta-play is explained by Dr. Ropes in this article in The File Room. In the style of Schrodinger's Cat, a meta-play is both alive and dead or neither. The meta-play, much like the works of Antonin Artaud, is meant to extract the inner workings of the audience's mind.
The Incident: Some of the meta-play was submitted to the faculty online. This resulted in a letter from Dr. Robert Mansell, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies forbidding King from sending any more of this project to anyone else in the academic environment. The work came off as threatening and the faculty strongly suggested he seek psychological help. He was then forced to drop his Directing major, and his supervisor dropped him as his student.
Results of Incident: Donovan King wrote a letter to the Alberta Human Rights tribunal. He received his MFA in Theatre Studies (not Directing) from the university and continues to provoke the theatre world.