The Theatrical Event

Call for papers for the meeting in GALWAY 12-16 JULY 2021

 Theatrical Event Working Group



Call for Papers, IFTR Galway 2021

Theatre for/by Young People, Amateur Theatre and Student Theatre



Academic discourse on Theatre for/by Young People (children and youth), Amateur Theatre and Student Theatre is rather limited, although these theatrical realities are widespread phenomena all over the world. The Theatrical Event working group would like to observe and rethink what distinguishes a theatrical event for: (a) young people and (b) amateurs or students. How can the insights that the concept of a ‘theatrical event’ provides, illuminate the distinctiveness of theatre for young people and amateur theatre, and what may we learn from these two genres for theorizing the Theatrical Event?


Possible aspects of Theatre and young people

·      Theatre education vs. education through theatre for other purposes.

·      Repertoire: themes and forms

·      Theatre/Drama in Education

·      Problematic and Taboo topics – e.g. how to deal death, violence or politics on stage?

·      Politics and Ideology: How may theatre for young people advance political ideas and ideologies?

·      Production and Funds: public vs. private

·      Audience: from infant to teenager - how to investigate? Which methodologies are most appropriate?

·      Role of reviews  


Possible aspects of Amateur Theatre and Student Theatre

·      Purpose: Professionalizing vs. Community-centered

·      Repertoire: canonical plays, workshop-based plays, site-specific performances, oral history plays

·      International Festivals for Student theatres

·      Directing/Acting: how to work with the amateur or student actor? Is there amateur acting? what are the features of directing and acting in this context?

·      Production and Funds: public vs. private

·      Audience: local vs. national  

·      Role of reviews

Any other aspects of these two topics are welcome. 


The Theatrical Event Working Group opens its discussions for these important topics and invites new participants and former members of the group to contribute suggestions for our meeting in Galway 2020. Contributors are expected to familiarise themselves with the books the Working Group has published, in particular some of the theoretical ideas and models which were presented in Theatrical Events (2004), Festivalising! (2007) and Playing Culture (2014); a book on Theatre Scandals will be published in 2019 and another book on Contexts is in preparation.


You can submit an abstract (250 words max.) through the IFTR conference system. 

Once the abstract has been accepted, contributions for the Galway conference should consist of a paper of no more than 3-4000 words, with a clear idea but ample room for revisions and additions. This first version of the paper will be circulated among the group about 3 weeks before the meeting. The meetings are mainly devoted to constructive discussions that should enable the authors to continue the development of their ideas and writing of a final text that will be discussed again at the Working Group meeting in 2022.


The convenors are happy to answer your questions and give advice concerning the procedures and the expectations we have towards new members in the group.

So, please feel welcome to join the Working Group that explores The Theatrical Event.


Convenor: Prof. Vicki Cremona:

Co-Convenor: Dr. Naphtaly Shem-Tov: 


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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