Meningsfulla förflutenheter : Traditionalisering och teatralisering i en klosterruin

Sammanfattning: The major objective of this thesis is to study the processes of traditionalisation that are being enacted in relation to both the external and internal production of the play "The Power and the Glory" that has been performed in Alvastra Abbey ruin since 1988. During three weeks in July the ruins and their environs are transformed into a rehearsal area, and a live stage, with lay actors performing different roles, a supporting staff and an audience. The thesis asks questions about how the staging of the play is impacted by a politics of culture, why this particular site or topography can be read as a story about a nation, what mediating connections there are between the yearly productions and, finally, how the rehearsals activate and reproduce the accumulated memory of the play and the place.The thesis connects with discussions on how "space" is charged with symbolic and cultural meanings, the use of history and cultural heritage, and story-telling. These approaches are combined with analysis of how participants in interaction use multiple resources (talk, spatial organisation, gestures, gazes, movements and postures) to invokethe spatial aspects of the play as well as to put the story of the play in place. The methodological approach of the thesis combines fieldwork (personal observations, videotaping and audio-recordings) with analysis of written material, press cuttings, archival material, and books and illustrations about the area and its history.In conclusion, this dissertation makes visible how Alvastra Abbey is associated with imagined cultural, political and social entities such as a nation, a province, and a local community. "The Power and the Glory", it appears, constitutes one agent among others in a long term meaning making process. One point made in this book is that although the story of the play is legitimised through references to a past that already has become meaningful in earlier processes of traditionalisation, the work of the Association of Alvastra Chronicle Play and the rehearsal process also creates a traditionalisation process of its own.