Documenting Viral Theatres

What does the hybrid future of theatre look like?
Picture of Documenting Viral Theatres

What does the hybrid future of theatre look like? Hybrid Futures is the title of an exhibition, currently on view at the Theatre Museum in Düsseldorf that responds to this question by putting the work of the VolkswagenFoundation-funded artistic research project Viral Theatres on display. Over the last 1.5 years, Viral Theatres has developed a range of creative and participatory documentation formats to gather responses of German and international theatre artists and audiences to the theatre closures of 2020-2021 and to highlight hybrid theatre work in action. In this talk, Ramona Mosse will offer an insight into the possibilities (rather than limitations) that opened up for digital theatre practice in Germany due to COVID-19, honing in on several video and audio case studies. In doing so, the talk will also explore more generally the changing role that creative archiving and experimental digital documentation have played in the pandemic work of theatre and performance artists around the world.

Ramona Mosse is a Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. She is also Principal Investigator of the Volkswagen Foundation-funded research project “Viral Theatres: Performing Post/Pandemic Cultures in the Anthropocene” at the EXC 2020 “Temporal Communities” at Freie Universität Berlin; the project focuses on participatory digital archiving during the pandemic, focussing on a comparative approach to the shifts in performance and audience practices. She is also teaching and coordinating a collaborative network course on Digital Theatres at Bard College Berlin that is running jointly with six university partners across the globe. Her work on intermedial performance practices, VR in theatre, modern and postmodern tragedy, and processes of adaptation has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Theatre Journal, Anglia, Performance Philosophy Journal, and Global Performance Studies. She is also co-editor of Erika Fische- Lichte’s Routledge Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies (2014, together with Minou Arjomand). Ramona holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, New York.


metaLAB is partnering with the Mahindra Humanities Center to sponsor the Transmedia Arts Seminar, chaired by metaLAB Principal Researcher, Magda Romanska, and metaLAB Affiliate Ramona Mosse.