1st Edition

Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances Commit Yourself!

Edited By Doris Kolesch, Theresa Schütz, Sophie Nikoleit Copyright 2019
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    At present, we are witnessing a significant transformation of established forms of spectatorship in theatre, performance art and beyond. In particular, immersive and participatory forms of theatre allow audiences and performers to interact in a shared performance space.


    Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances discusses forms and concepts of contemporary spectatorship and explores various modes of audience participation in theory as well as in practice. The volume also reflects on what new terms and methods must be developed in order to address the theoretical challenges of contemporary immersive performances.


    Split into three parts, Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances, respectively, focuses on various strategies for mobilising the audience, methodological questions for research on being a spectator in immersive and participatory forms of theatre, and thematising new modes of partaking and ways of spectating in contemporary art.


    Poignantly capturing experiences that can be viewed as manifestations of affective relationality in the strongest possible sense, this volume will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as Theatre and Performance Studies, Media Studies and Philosophy.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors


    Funding note

    1. Immersion and Spectatorship at the Interface of Theatre, Media Tech and Daily Life: An Introduction

    2. Doris Kolesch

    Part I: Mobile Audiences

  • Unexpected Encounter. On Installation Art as Immersive Space

  • Barbara Gronau

  • Doggies, Masters and the End of the European Union. On Immersive Theatre Installations by SIGNA and Thomas Bellinck

  • Benjamin Wihstutz

  • On the Impossibility of Being Together

  • A conversation between performance artist Signa Köstler and Theresa Schütz

  • Bordering and Shattering the Stage: Mobile Audiences as Compositional Forces

  • Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

  • Structures of Spectatorship

  • Kerstin Schankweiler

    Part II: Researching Spectatorship

  • Keep it real

  • A conversation between performance artist Julian Hetzel and Theresa Schütz

  • Participatory Audiencing and the Committed Return

  • Matthew Reason

  • Immersive Art – Immersive Research?

  • Stefanie Husel

  • Parsing ‘Commitment’: The Multiple Valences of Spectatorship

  • Janelle Reinelt

  • The Case for Empirical Audience Research

  • Antje Kahl

    Part III: Questions of Power – Politics of Affect in Immersive Performances

  • Feminism, Audience Interaction, and Performer Authority

  • Jen Harvie

  • The Promise of Participation Revisited: Affective Strategies of Participation

  • Gareth White

  • Capturing complexity while being pressed for time

  • A conversation between scenographer Mona el Gammal and Theresa Schütz

  • Immersive Guilt Factories

  • Theresa Schütz

  • Dark Immersion. Some thoughts on SIGNA’s Wir Hunde/Us Dogs

    1. Rainer Mühlhoff




      Doris Kolesch is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies and a co-director of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)-funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC)  "Affective Societies" at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

      Theresa Schütz is a theatre scholar and research assistant working in the CRC "Affective Societies" at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

      Sophie Nikoleit is a theatre scholar and research assistant working in the CRC "Affective Societies" at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.