International Conference "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

Entering the Story: audience as character and performance’s next revolution.
Interactive Talk/Lecture/Discussion by Alexis Macnab - Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance, Sonoma State University.

Alexis Macnab is multi-media director and devisor whose works have been produced internationally and across the United States. Macnab is Founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Shakespeare, a company bringing intimate adaptations of classic plays into people’s homes. Her original adaptations for the stage include Tolstoy’s Family Happiness, Nabokov’s Gods, and multiple performance experiments based on Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. As Director and Curator of Alexis Macnab Projects (amp) she showcases artists working across disciplines and creates unique themed events bringing together art, science, technology, and performance. Macnab is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance at Sonoma State University.


Contemporary performance is exploring and expanding audience interaction, immersion, and agency. At the same time, “mixed reality” technology is working to increase access and ubiquity of fictionally generated “worlds.” As these two practices merge, the audience/participants are asked to fuse Self with Character, creating a new and hybrid role. But is it really that new? Classically, we are taught that performance evolved from ritual and ceremony, which is at least partially defined by the necessary participation of all involved. Is our return to experiential engagement with live performance part of the latest curve in the wide spiral of cultural evolution? In performance, what do we gain, or lose, in the transformation from witness to participant? When Audience becomes Character how does their relationship to the art form, and art object, change?

In this embodied conversation, we will highlight some of the companies and performance works which grapple with the boundaries between audience and performer, and invite the witness into a performance fiction. We will also blur the boundaries of a formal “talk” by moving together, layering idea-sharing with physical exploration, and creating an inquisitive and exploratory space. Discussion will draw from contemporary performances by 600 Highwaymen (U.S.), ZU-UK (Brazil/Great Brittan), and Ontroerend Goed (Belgium), among others. This interactive conversation will include a review of images/media, ensemble improvisation, and discussion prompts intended to illuminate the experience, insights and wisdom of the group. Come to move together, share ideas, and be inspired to collaborate and innovate as our performance form evolves.


Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse" and New International Performing Arts Institute