HETEROGLOSSIA AND INTELLIGIBILITY IN TRANSMEDIA THEATRE
The question of intelligibility keeps returning to the scholarship and practice of multilingual theatre. Technological developments like surtitles and translating glasses have opened unprecedented possibilities for the audience to engage with productions performed in different languages. At the same time, they have also fed Western anxieties based on the need to understand every word and fix meanings to experience theatre. The talk discusses alternative opportunities that transmedia creates in multilingual theatre practice. The focus is on how different media components and the connectivity between them can challenge the urges toward every-word understanding and their links with broader sociopolitical stratifications and asymmetries. Looking specifically at works of Europe-based artists such as the Needcompany (Belgium), Adam Ziajski (Poland), and Rimini Protokoll, the talk illustrates how they use transmedia to move the encounter with languages towards multidimensional and dialogic experiences that are both aesthetic and political.
Kasia Lech, with a Ph.D. from University College Dublin, is a scholar, actor, storyteller, puppeteer, and Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University. Her research explores theatre through practice-based and traditional scholarship and focuses primarily on theatre in the context of multilingualism, verse, transmedia, acting, and transnational experience. She published Dramaturgy of Form: Performing Verse in Contemporary Theatre (Routledge, 2021). Her second book, Multilingual Dramaturgies: Towards New European Theatre, is forthcoming from Palgrave. Kasia performed internationally and co-founded Polish Theatre Ireland – a multilingual theatre company based in Dublin. She is an Executive Director at TheTheatreTimes.com, and a co-convener of the Translation Adaptation Dramaturgy working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research.