BSLS 2012 Workshop Proposal: Experiments in Theatre

BSLS 2012 Workshop Proposal “Experiments in Theatre: New Directions in Science and Performance”

In 2002, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews published a special issue on Theatre and Science that became the springboard for key debates that have helped to shape and define the field. Since then, several new books and dozens of articles have significantly expanded the scholarship on theatre and science, while a steady flow of new work for the stage has shown that the interactions between science and theatre continue to surprise, delight, and provoke audiences and readers around the world.

Now, a decade on, we plan to hold a workshop that will bring together scholars and practitioners engaging with theatre and science to explore new developments, directions, and explorations in this ever-expanding field. This is an opportunity to share work in progress and get feedback on it, take stock of current trends in the field and suggest new ones.

Format: participants will distribute their papers ahead of the workshop, allowing them to be read beforehand so that on the day we will only need brief summaries from each participant and can devote most of the session to discussion, questions and answers, and targeted responses. We will encourage audience participation in the Q and A.

Topics the workshop might explore include (but are not limited to):

  • How has the field evolved and expanded away from the focus on text-based “science plays” like Stoppard’s Arcadia, Wertenbaker’s After Darwin, and Frayn’s Copenhagen to a greater emphasis on performance in its broadest sense, through such diverse practitioners as Complicite (A Disappearing Number), Punchdrunk (Faust), Athletes of the Heart (Yerma’s Eggs), and Clod Ensemble (Performing Medicine)?
  • How do theatre and scientific experimentation intersect and cross-fertilize each other?
  • How has theatre engaged with relatively recent scientific findings and debates, such as those over climate change and global warming?
  • What new modes of performance has the interaction of science with theatre generated?

Please send expressions of interest, a title and an abstract to the convenors below by 30 December 2011.

Convenors of the Workshop
Dr Carina Bartleet (Senior Lecturer in Drama, Oxford Brookes University),
Dr Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (University Lecturer in Modern Drama, University of Oxford),