Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances: Commit Yourself!, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances

Commit Yourself!, 1st Edition

Edited by Doris Kolesch, Theresa Schütz, Sophie Nikoleit


204 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367187965
pub: 2019-05-20
SAVE ~$28.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429198274
pub: 2019-05-03
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


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 volumewill appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as Theatre and Performance Studies, Media Studies and Philosophy.

Table of Contents

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
  • Rainer Mühlhoff



    About the Editors

    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.

    About the Series

    Routledge Studies in Affective Societies

    The Routledge Studies in Affective Societies book series presents high-level academic work on the social dimensions of human affectivity. It aims at shaping, consolidating and promoting a new understanding of societies as Affective Societies, accounting for the fundamental importance of affect and emotion for human coexistence in the mobile and networked worlds of the twenty-first century.

    Series Editors:

    Birgitt Röttger-Rössler is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany  [email protected]

    Doris Kolesch is Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany  [email protected]

    Editorial Board:

    Professor Jan Slaby, Professor Christian von Scheve, Professor Hubert Knoblauch, Dr. Kerstin Schankweiler, Dr. Katharina Metz

    Routledge Editor:

    Emily Briggs  [email protected]

    Learn more…

    Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General