Being Together/Alone: Temporal Communities in Hybrid Performances

Transmedia Arts Seminar

How are temporal communities made and unmade in transmedial context?
Picture of Being Together/Alone: Temporal Communities in Hybrid Performances



The lecture focuses on how the corona-pandemic affected practices as well as the understanding of theatre and performance audiences. Like in a magnifying glass, the pandemic did expose one central, yet unsolved question of audience research: how do dimensions of collectivity and individuality come and act together in the temporal community of a theatre audience? While theatre houses were closed and the theatrical art of assembly was in crisis, theatre-makers were highly innovative in addressing, in getting in contact, and in staying in touch with their audiences – especially – but not only – by using digital tools and Social Media in developing online and hybrid performances. The lecture analyzes the formation and constitution of digital theatre audiences, and their repertoires of perception and action, and unfolds the complex entanglements of being together/alone in current figurations of audiences.

Doris Kolesch is a Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and Co-Director of the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies. Dynamics of Social Coexistence in Mobile Worlds”, where she heads a research project on “Reenacting Emotions. Strategies and Politics of Immersive Theater”. She is also the Principal Investigator in the Cluster of Excellence “Temporal Communities – Doing Literature in a Global Perspective”, where she researches “Extended Audiences”, in the Collaborative Research Center “Intervening Arts” and in the Graduate Center “Normativity, Critique, Transformation”. Her research interests include the theory and aesthetics of theatre, voice and acoustic culture, performance and performativity, and affect and emotion studies. Her innovative research has received various awards, among them the Essay Prize of the German Society for Theatre Studies and the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Science Foundation (DFG). Recent Publications: Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances: Commit Yourself! (Kolesch Eds.), New York and London: Routledge 2019; “Ästhetik der Immersion” in: Die Kunst und die Künste (Bertram Eds.), Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp 2021.

metaLAB is partnering with the Mahindra Humanities Center to sponsor the Transmedia Arts Seminar, chaired by Magda Romanska.