International Conference of the research project B03 „Reenacting Emotions. Strategies and Politics of Immersive Theater“ within the framework of the Collaborative Research Center „Affective Societies“; in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele.
Diverse means of audience participation are a characteristic feature in contemporary theater. Immersive and participatory forms of theater in particular allow audiences and performers to interact in a shared performance space. Audience members are no longer spectators and listeners only, they are invited to be multi-sensory active witnesses, participants, accomplices or co-performers. Thus, immersive and participatory forms of theater not only re-configure conventional relationships between spectators and performers, but also transform the spectator and her role into an integral part of the performance, which raises new questions.
It is against this background that the international conference “Commit Yourself! Staging Spectators in Immersive Theater“ invites you to discuss forms and concepts of contemporary spectatorship, and explore various modes of audience participation in theory as well as in practice. The focus of our discussion will be on new terms and methods yet to be developed in order to meet the challenges posed by contemporary theater and performance art. After all, current performances are not alone in their re-evaluation of the audience and its freedom of action. Theater and Performance Studies must also develop correspondingly new and different understandings of what it means to be an audience, understandings that frame the spectators activities as integral elements of any performance. How does one become a “spectator” and how do people become a specific figuration of a public? Can we think of a specific “implicit spectator” for immersive theater? How can empirical spectators be included in researching immersive and participatory experiences in a productive way? The conference sets out to explore the prospects of an interdisciplinary broadening of the field of Theater and Performance Studies and its methods in order to be able to examine the full range and diversity of reception experiences.
Nov 18, 2016 - Jul 19, 2016
Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Theaterwissenschaft
Theresa Schütz | Sophie Nikoleit
SFB 1171 „Affective Societies“ | Freie Universität Berlin
Habelschwerdter Allee 45 | JK 24 / 122c | 14195 Berlin
030 – 838 52150