The Theatrical Event

Call for papers for the meeting in Belgrade 9–13 July 2018



In 2017 the working group Theatrical Event started research on a new subject. After theorising forms, structures and strategies of theatrical events the working group now focuses on the relation between theatrical events and their contexts.


We invite the submission of contributions on the following aspects:

- historical and geographical contexts;

- social, political, economical and institutional contexts;

- class, ethnicity, gender and religion;

- structure of the public sphere;

- hierarchy and power status;

- culture politics (laws, subsidies, censorship);

- education;

- mass media and social media;

- production: circumstances of the creation of theatrical events (employment, payment);

- reception: audience expectations, social structure of the audience;

- critics;

- art, aesthetics, literature, drama as well as style, norms and conventions;

- values.

Even though a wide range of case studies and sources is very welcome, one of the main research questions connecting all contributions will be: which terminology – such as influence, adaptation, negotiation, observation, dependence / interdependence, infusion, acculturation, interweaving, inspiration – is applied to describe the relation between the theatrical events and their contexts? Which implications does each terminology and methodology have?

The main questions of the working group meetings in Belgrade are: 

- On which context(s) does the paper focus? 

- What is the research interest when analysing relationship(s) between theatrical events and their context(s)?

- How do we conceptualise the relationship(s) between theatrical events and their context(s)?

Therefore, submitted abstracts have to mention the terminology / methodology used in the research project. The contributions should explicitly reflect the applied terminology / methodology. Whilst new members are welcome to join, contributors are recommended to acquaint themselves with the former work of the Theatrical Event working group. Please find a description and a list of the working group’s publications below.

Your proposals should contain your topic, research question, source materials as well as the methodology and terminology used in the research project. Abstracts are to be submitted on the conference website until 15 January 2018. Information on how to submit will be available on the page. All contributors are expected to circulate their texts three weeks before the meeting in Belgrade. Participants wishing to apply for bursaries should do so by 1 December 2017. The application form is available on

All correspondence should be sent to the group’s conveners:

Dr. Beate Schappach:

Prof. Vicki Cremona:



Research interests and publications of the Theatrical Event working group 

The Theatrical Event Working group was established in Puebla, Mexico in 1997. The following quotation from our book, Theatrical Events, Borders, Dynamics, Frames (2004) indicates the key terms of our work: 

When we speak about a Theatrical Event, we think of someone doing something, ostentatiously enough to be distinguished from everyday life. To mark an event as theatrical, the distinction from other kinds of doings might be more important than its content. The distinction is twofold: on the one hand there is someone who does something in a different way than in regular life; on the other hand, there is also someone who sees and acknowledges this difference. Furthermore, both the doer and the observer have some idea that the possibility of such a distinction indicates that the doings during a theatrical event are different from similar actions outside a theatrical event. Theatre becomes theatre by being an event, in which two partners engage in a playful relationship. (2004: 11) 

The group has published three books in the Rodopi/IFTR series 'Themes in Theatre – Collective Approaches to Theatre and Performance':

  • Theatrical Events. Borders, Dynamics, Frames, edited by Vicki Ann Cremona, Peter Eversmann, Hans van Mannen, Willmar Sauter and John Tulloch. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004. This book contains theories and methodologies that allow the reader to understand the concepts behind what is meant by 'theatrical event'. Details here.
  • Festivalising! Theatrical Events, Politics and Culture, edited by Temple Hauptfleisch, Shulamith Lev-aladgem, Jacqueline Martin, Willmar Sauter and Henri Schoenmakers. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. Details here.
  • Playing Culture. Conventions and Extensions of Performance, edited by Vicki Ann Cremona, Rikard Hoogland, Gay Morris, Willmar Sauter. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014.
  • Poetics of Playing. Fictionality, Reality and Playing in between, Nordic Theatre Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2014. Edited by Anneli Saro, Ulla Kallenbach, Rikard Hoogland.

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