Registration Open: "Redefining Theatre" Online Conference, FU Berlin

20 April, 2021 by Radka Kunderova | 0 comments

Registration Open: "Redefining Theatre" Online Conference, FU Berlin

Christopher Balme, Tony Fisher, and Meike Wagner are among the speakers of the “Redefining Theatre: Theatre and Society in Transition“ online conference held at the FU Berlin via Webex on May 28-29.

The COVID-19 pandemic has yet again shown us the strength of theatre’s interrelation with the society and just how easily theatre’s social relevance can shift at the time of a profound social change. In what ways can we reflect on theatre in both institutional and aesthetic terms in times of societal transition? What happens to theatre when the public spheres are being fundamentally reshaped? And what means do we possess to articulate the re-definition of theatre’s social function and relevance?


The “Redefining Theatre: Theatre and Society in Transition“ interactive online conference, held at the Freie Universität Berlin, will focus on theatre in times of societal transition both in general terms and with a specific focus on the post-1989 transformations in Central and Eastern Europe. 




Friday,  May 28

13:30 – 13:40 Welcome

Panel I: Theatre and Social Crisis

Chaired by Radka Kunderová, Freie Universität Berlin

13:40 – 14:10 Christopher Balme, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

                       Theatre, Corona and Crisis: Scenarios

14:10 – 14:25 Discussion

14:25 – 14:55 Andrea Tompa, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca

                      From Social Change to Social Drama: or How the Present Expropriates the Past 

                      (The Case of Hungarian Theater after 1990 till the Present)

14:55 – 15:10 Discussion

15:10 – 15:30 Coffee break


Panel II: West-East Transitional Dynamics in Theatre

Chaired by Tony Fisher, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama London

15:30 – 16:00 Anneli Saro, University of Tartu

                      Turn to the West: Dynamics of Theatre in Transition

16:00 – 16:15 Discussion

16:15 – 16:45 Tanja Bogusz, Hamburg University

                       Two Cultures, One Institution

                       East-Western Entanglements at the Volksbühne Berlin after 1989

16:45 – 17:00 Discussion

17:00 – 17:15 Coffee break


Panel III: Redefining Institutions and Identities

Chaired by Janelle Reinelt, University of Warwick

17:15 – 17:45 Brandon Woolf, New York University

                       Considerations on the Berlin Theater Situation: 30 Years Later

17:45 – 18:00 Discussion

18:00 – 18:30 Jana Wild, Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava

                      Redefining Shakespeare

18:30 – 18:45 Discussion


Saturday, May 29

Panel I: Theatre and the Changing Public Sphere

Chaired by Jan Lazardzig, Freie Universität Berlin

10:00 – 10:30 Paweł Sztarbowski, Theatre Academy in Warsaw and Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw

                       Spectres of Communism

10:30 – 10:45 Discussion

10:45 – 11:15 Matthias Warstat, Freie Universität Berlin

                       Berlin 1989: Theatre and Street Protests

11:15 – 11:30 Discussion

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee break

11:45 – 12:15 Radka Kunderová, Freie Universität Berlin

                       Redefining the Political Theatre?: Czech Theatre in the early 1990s

12:15 – 12:30 Discussion

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break


Panel II: Potentialities of (Political) Theatre

Chaired by Radka Kunderová, Freie Universität Berlin

14:00 – 14:30 Meike Wagner, Stockholm University

                      Performing Citizenship around 1800

                      Utopian Performatives of Early Bourgeois Theatre

14:30 – 14:45 Discussion

14:45 – 15:00 Coffee break

15:00 – 15:30 Tony Fisher, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama London

                       The Taxonomy of the Political Theatre


15:30 – 16:00 Discussion + closing remarks




The conference is free to attend but registration is required at


Registered attendees will be emailed details of how to join the conference before the event. 


For further information about the conference, please see, and ”Theatre ReDefined” Facebook and Instagram profiles, or email us at



The conference is a part of the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie research project “Redefining the Agency: Post-1989 Crisis of the Czech and Former East German Theatre” (abbreviated as ”Theatre ReDefined”) conducted by the Principal Investigator Dr. Radka Kunderová at the Institute for Theatre Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.


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