Theatricality – Antitheatricality: Transdisciplinary and Scenological Studies on Contemporary Theatre

Call of Papers

Conference working languages: Polish, English, Spanish

Proposals for papers with abstracts (ca. 250-300 words) and a brief bio with  institutional affiliation (if any) and an email address should be submitted electronically by the end of 30 September 2019 to the following subscription form: (please click here)

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The topic of the conference Theatricality– Antitheatricality: Transdisciplinary and Scenological Studies on Contemporary Theatre leads us directly to a fundamental question: What is theatre? Finding an answer to this question is obviously not an easy task. However, the very act of posing a question does not require an immediate answer, let alone an explicit one. As a natural consequence of exploring this subject, there appear undoubtedly other queries and possible responses. That is why, instead of asking questions concerning the essence of theatre, we will try to enter the ground which in itself is more and more fluid and changeable. Possibly, as a result of our investigation, the foundations of what we call theatre will be undermined. Even in the eyes of those who incline towards its contemporary definitions. It is not also about reaching a final decision of whether theatre should be pioneering or not. Theatre does not strive for stability which would let it avoid the blurring of its boundaries. The one and only thing that seems to be evident here is that this metaphysics, which aims at defining theatre, do not pass any more because of an objective to consecrate its own activity. In other words, theatre is no longer obliged to call itself theatre and makes with its structures whatever it wants. These displacements, sometimes temporary and sometimes permanent, lead us to another issue underlying the proper definition of theatre, namely theatricality. Furthermore, there would not be theatricality if it did not have its counterpoint, which is antitheatricality. Our conference is intended to investigate and discuss this “ubiquity” considering that theatre is all around us (even though not everything that we perceive in our surroundings is theatre). In that sphere, notions evolve regardless of their antecedents. Originally, theatre formed a monolithic unit of expression. Currently, the boundaries, theatricality, as well as this very field which were previously announced the “everlasting theatre” – monolithic like Greek theatre or the theatre by Shakespeare, Beckett, Strindberg, Chekhov, among others, or in its own scenic field: Stanisławski, Grotowski, Brecht, Brook or Strehler, reveal a very dynamic space for creation and research on the basis of which new stage representations are produced. In modernity, the space of theatre and research constituted theatricality, but it was even earlier when this space allowed for finding other areas of stage creations extending to antitheatricality. For this reason, we would like to foster an international cross-disciplinary exchange of pertinent ideas and observations which accompany us today. We would like to invite all scholars, critics, actors, directors, theoreticians and playwrights to contribute and share their reflections on the topic which include, but are not limited to, the following perspectives: dramatics, acting, direction, stage space, theatre criticism, theatre culture, classical theatre, theatre studies (e.g. Latin American, Asian, European, African), etc. The only binding guidelines are the two notions which should form the core of reflections: Theatricality and Antitheatricality.