- Vectors of participation in contemporary theatre and performance
- Theatre Research International
- Volume | Issue number
- 37 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article explores the notion of participation in contemporary theatre and performance on two levels, namely how participation is shaped within performance, and how performance participates in the public sphere. Using recent examples from Sudan, Russia and Lebanon/Netherlands, I investigate how the political premises underlying the call for participation are reimagined aesthetically, and, conversely, how artistic strategies of shaping audience participation render visible the failures and possibilities of people's participation in the public sphere. The connection between these two dimensions of participation is made by engaging the concepts of ‘representation’, ‘collectivity’ and ‘theatricality’, which I call ‘vectors of participation’. I discuss how the artistic representation of an idea is complementary to political representation, how the demand for collective participation in the public sphere transforms into collective creation in the artistic sphere, and how theatricality in spectatorship is linked to the political call to bear witness.
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