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Theatre Sense – A One-day Symposium at Battersea Arts Centre – 25 May 2018
25th May 2018 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pmFree
Theatre Sense – a one-day symposium at Battersea Arts Centre
25th May 2018, 09.30 – 17.30
2018 marks 20 years since Battersea Arts Centre’s groundbreaking Playing in the Dark season, which set the tone for experiments in audience immersion, lighting and sound design by some of the most exciting artists and companies in British theatre. The Theatre Sense symposium will reflect on the history of these developments, and their cultural impact at BAC and beyond, in a series of dialogues between artists and academics.
Playing in the Dark challenged artists and theatre companies including Complicité, Fevered Sleep, Sound&Fury and Vanishing Point to work within conditions darkness, initiating experiments with sound and vision that have continued in the two decades since. Whether experimenting with dramatic form, audience engagement, or the possibilities of new technology artists have responded to the challenge of playing in the dark with a range of appeals to the ‘other senses’. Many of these aesthetic innovations have found their way out of darkness and into more familiar stagings, with low-level lighting, extended blackouts and immersive sound design to be found across a range of styles and stagings, many of which also place the audience within the action accordingly. With recent advances in digital and spatial audio playback and in virtual reality, the extension of theatre’s sensorium can surely only continue.
With a keynote conversation with Tom Morris (Bristol Old Vic), and three panels of artists led by Adam Alston (Univ. Surrey), Lynne Kendrick (CSSD) and David Shearing (Univ. Leeds), Theatre Sense invites artists and scholars to consider challenges and opportunities for sensory engagement in performance. How might we think beyond the conventional five senses, to conceive of new opportunities for theatrical aesthetics and audiences? How might artistic practice shed new light on ways of seeing, hearing and feeling?
Artist contributors include: Carolyn Downing, Seth Kriebel, Stephanie Singer (BitterSuite), Sound&Fury, Melanie Wilson.