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Digital Stages. Sensual co-presence in hybrid performances

gabriele klein
  Cultural globalisation since the 1990s would not have been possible without the transition from analogue to digital communication. Digital, global, real-time communication, made possible by smartphones and social media, has created what cultural scientist Felix Stalder calls a ‘culture of digitality’.[1] In contrast to the more technical concept of digitalisation, digitality is a concept from cultural studies and the social sciences that grasps the interconnections of the analogue and the digital and identifies them as the main characteristics of culture. Digitality thus refers to a cultural phenomenon of the globalised contemporary society, which both ties in with existing habits of media communication — writing letters or telephoning — as well as decisively changing everyday lives in terms of how people communicate with each other and inform themselves. While digitalisation has made global communication possible for almost everyone who has access to digital devices, it is the digitality of culture that has changed the quality of communication and with it the modes of perception and experience worldwide. Everyday activities — whether eating together, sex, sport, care, work, art appreciation — are increasingly taking place in an ‘onlife’, as the Italian philosopher Floridi calls the interweaving of the digital and the analogue.[2] And this ‘onlife’ also characterises the performing arts. Debates in cultural studies and the social sciences tend to take digitalisation to imply a loss of proximity, trust, affection, devotion, etc. in a vein of cultural criticism, or as a euphoric expansion of global communication. I advocate neither cultural pessimism nor naïve euphoria. Rather, I ask how ‘onlife’ has changed the perception of artistic stage performances.

Fig. 1: Gabriele Klein in a still from 'Ferner Körper. Berührung im digitalen Alltag'. Germany, 2022. Video. https://youtu.be/4kh3e6Vi6-s?feature=shared.

The stage is the last bastion of the analogue. Co-presence, aura, event, unrepeatability are the central features theatre scholars use to distinguish theatre from other media. But what happens when either the audience is absent from the location of the performance, or the audience is sitting in the theatre but the performers are not on stage? Is it no longer possible to affect the audience? Is it no longer possible to be touched by a piece? I argue that touch — even in stage performances — is independent of physical presence. This thesis diverges from some positions in theatre studies, but it is not new to media and film studies, having been often proposed. However, even media studies usually fail to answer the following question: what determines whether an audience is touched? I claim that this being touched happens through the possibility and ability of sensual co-presence. By sensual co-presence I mean an apprehension of sensing, feeling and experiencing, which certain media can induce.[3]

Stage performances in hybrid spaces

Stage art has always seen itself as a bulwark against digitality and virtuality. The theatre, unlike the cinema, is seen as a place of co-presence between performers and audience, and the performance as a unique event shared only among those present. But this perspective had already begun to falter by the turn of the 20th century. Since then, the theatre has faced strong competition in the form of cinemas. In 1895, the first film ever was shown in the Wintergarten, a famous variety theatre in Berlin-Mitte, and the history of cinema — and with it the history of a global medium — began. To this day, there remains controversy — intensified by pandemic-induced closures – about the social legitimacy of subsidising theatres as sites of bourgeois representational culture (still or again) in contrast to commercially operated cinemas and what distinguishes theatrical and cinematic experiences. Theatre scholars cite co-presence as one such distinction.[4] In the 2000s, German theatre scholar Erika Fischer-Lichte defended the particular mediality of theatre by emphasising the co-presence of actors and audience members, i.e. their physical presence in one place, as a special characteristic of theatre and deducing from this the uniqueness of the theatrical experience. She understands co-presence as an interaction where actors and spectators assemble in person in a specific place for a certain duration.[5] Fischer-Lichte understands co-presence as a basic condition for the possibility of affective contact with the audience. Since in cinema, television and the internet, audience and actors are not together in one place but scattered globally, according to Fischer-Lichte, they experience no co-presence and no affective connection can take place. Her concept of co-presence has been repeatedly criticised. As media scholars have shown, being touched is just as possible via analogue and digital media as it is in the theatre. One can root for the main character in a TV movie, empathise with the worries and hardships of the protagonist in a novel, cry while listening to recorded music, get goose bumps or be reassured when a film ends happily. There is no need for both the actors and the audience to be present in the same place; physical co-presence is not a prerequisite for being touched. Being touched takes place in the tension between sensing, feeling and experiencing, and it changes according to the mediality of the medium and its sensual perception. One is immersed in a novel or film through empathetic understanding and imagination, while at a dance performance one can feel the movements of the dancers and possibly even smell their sweat in the front rows. The choreographer Pina Bausch, for example, loved stages with water, earth and grass because these natural materials also exude unique scents.[6] So can you understand a digital presentation as a co-presentational theatre performance? The Filipino choreographer and visual artist Eisa Jocson has addressed this question. Jocson took the pandemic as an opportunity to develop the piece ‘Manila Zoo’, which is the name of the actual zoo and botanical garden in Manila. Six performers are connected to the Mousonturm theatre in Frankfurt, Germany by a video chat. The audience is in the theatre. They show the audience the physical and psychological effects of the pandemic via tile images. They make clear that the consequences of the pandemic are distributed unevenly by class, gender, profession and age. At the same time, the piece deals with power and the economy of the gaze: it shows footage of sex work, the exploitation of performers in Asian Disney parks and the display of bodies and desires put into the picture. In doing so, through the medium of the video chat, the performance gets close to the audience’s bodies in a way that would not have been possible in a stage performance.

Fig.  2: da:ns fest. 'World premiere of Manila Zoo 2021'. Singapore: National Gallery Singapore, 2022. Photograph. https://www.nationalgallery.sg/magazine/maria-labo-aswang-female-rage.

The liveness of global stage publics

It is an integral part of media history that media have not only brought about a globalisation of the public sphere, they have also promoted the formation of different, globally distributed media publics and increasingly fragmented the existence of the audience. For example, listening to music on demand is hardly new thanks to reproduction technologies such as shellac and vinyl records, CDs, MP3s and streaming. Analogue media can include live broadcasts, making it possible to enjoy a classical-music concert via radio and to watch a play on television. But today, when stage performances are shown globally, it is via streaming services and cloud media libraries that stream in real time or minimally time-delayed. And unlike broadcasting, for example, where an indefinite number of recipients are connected live via a broadcasting system, users download these products individually and are connected directly to the server as clients. Multimediality is the hallmark of digitality, which means that the respective media refer to each other. To grasp multimediality in the digital, media scholars Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin have introduced the term ‘remediatisation’. They understand this to mean ‘the representation of one medium in another medium’[7] and emphasise reciprocal dependencies of media on each other, insofar as they imitate, outdo or otherwise repeatedly reference each other, both establishing and simultaneously undermining the boundaries of individual media. In the course of this remediation, various audiences emerge who, scattered around the world, can follow a concert, an opera or a theatre and dance performance simultaneously. In addition to the audience present, there are other groups of spectators who attend live (remotely) via various media. From this point of view, a live audience need not be physically present, only ‘remotely present’. Accordingly, the media and art theorist Philip Auslander argued as early as the late 1990s in his book Liveness[8] that presence only acquires the aura of authenticity and genuineness through awareness of the simultaneous presence of other remote audiences. The physically co-present situation is therefore not fundamental; it is not the original form of social interaction that is then transmitted by media. Rather, what is ‘authentic’ in globalised media societies is first produced via media transmissions and then interpreted as genuine and auratic. This disrupts perception and induces uncertainty. Is the situation that one is observing real? And can what is communicated through the media be understood as a pure transmission of this reality? Or is it not rather the case that what is considered real is permeated with media?

Global publics and the disruption of atmospheres

Given the media fragmentation of global publics, it comes as no surprise that attention in the performing arts and media and theatre studies has increasingly shifted to the audience, which has its causes not only in the ‘performative turn’ and performance art, but also in the simultaneous incursion of the digital into stage arts. It is no coincidence that this change of how we perceive audiences comes at a time when digital technologies continue to spread globally. As with performative projects, media users are no longer passive recipients but (inter)active participants. From the outset, they have greater scope to engage, because, unlike in the theatre, they can decide how to sit, for example, whether to interrupt their viewing, cook or iron while doing so, or comment on what they have seen in a chat. They are no longer bound to watch the action silently and to comment on it, if at all, only after the performance. On-site audiences and remote audiences are each embedded in different configurations of emotional connection. Whether stage performances can impress and affect an audience depends on whether the play has aesthetic quality and the individual performance goes well, which no one can guarantee in advance. In addition, success depends on the individual habits of perception, viewing experience and knowledge of the audience. Finally, on-site and remote performances differ in terms of the atmospheres in which the viewers find themselves, be it a theatre space, a cinema, in private or in public. This includes the fact that the routines and rituals of cinema, broadcast television and streaming audiences differ from those of audiences physically present at theatres, dance and opera performances. What the spectators on site have in common is that the atmosphere is created communally, and each audience member follows a similar economy of attention. Their attention is focused, which is fundamentally different from the scattered attention of remote viewing, in which different things are perceived simultaneously and the event is brought into a different atmospheric situation, e.g. into one's own home and circle of friends.

Fig.  3: blowUP media GmbH. 'Die 138qm Media Stage an der Reeperbahn in Hamburg'. 2021. https://invidis.de/2021/02/dooh-media-stage-launcht-auf-der-reeperbahn/ (Special thanks to Carolin Baumann)ii.

Sensual co-presence

Events in the performing arts, which have historically been based on physical presence, have always been flanked by technical media such as radio, television, photography and film. Here, digital media mean an extension on the one hand and a fundamental change in the patterns of perception on the other. With digital media, there is a simultaneity of various audiences that does not function through physical presence, but through a feeling of being there or being gripped, imagining an atmosphere at the present time. The experience is thus not independent of time and place in the same way as, for example, reading a novel. Digital media have added a new facet to the understanding of presence: sensual co-presence. Those who are present are co-present, regardless of whether they are on site or remote. The concept of co-presence has moved away from a clear definition of time and place towards a concept that foregrounds sensory perception in digital communication based on participation. Sensual co-presence arises in a hybrid interplay between stage performance and media transmission. It is dependent neither on the simultaneous participation of the audience nor on their physical presence. Rather, sensory co-presence is based on the ability to immerse oneself in the situation with the senses, to understand what is seen with feeling and to imagine the atmosphere created in the play. This requires the ability to empathise with what is being transmitted. In order to develop these abilities in a globalised culture of digitality and to reflect on them, the performing arts provide spaces for critical experimentation.
[1] Felix Stalder, Kultur der Digitalität (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2016). [2] Katharina Liebsch and I have tried to illustrate and theorise this in our book. This text builds on the argument there. See: Gabriele Klein and Katharina Liebsch, Ferne Körper: Berührung im digitalen Alltag, Reclam. Denkraum, (Ditzingen: Reclam Denkraum, 2022). [3] See Klein and Liebsch, Ferne Körper, 84-98. [4] Erika Fischer-Lichte, Aesthetics of the Performative (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2004), 38-74. [5] Fischer-Lichte, Aesthetics of the Performative, 47. [6] Gabriele Klein, Pina Bausch's Dance Theater: Company, Artistic Practices and Reception (Bielefeld: transcript, 2024). [7] Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 45. [8] Philip Auslander, Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, trans. Liveness (London: Routledge, 2008).
Auslander, Philip. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture. Translated by Liveness. London: Routledge, 2008. Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000. Fischer-Lichte, Erika. Aesthetics of the Performative. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2004. Klein, Gabriele. Pina Bausch's Dance Theater: Company, Artistic Practices and Reception. Bielefeld: transcript, 2024. Klein, Gabriele and Katharina Liebsch. Ferne Körper: Berührung im digitalen Alltag. Reclam. Denkraum. Ditzingen: Reclam Denkraum, 2022. Stalder, Felix. Kultur der Digitalität. Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2016.
citation information
Klein, Gabriele, 'Digital stages. Sensual co-presence in hybrid performances', Ben Kamis ed. global dis:connect blog. Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, 20 February 2024, https://www.globaldisconnect.org/02/20/digital-stages-sensual-co-presence-in-hybrid-performances/.
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covid and the theatre: a constant state of disruption?

christopher balme
  Looking back upon the last couple of years, I am reminded of the famous advertisement for the film Jaws (1975): Just when you though it was safe to go back in the water… (For an impressionable teenager growing up in New Zealand next to a beach frequented by sharks, including Great Whites, this was not just rhetoric but calculated risk assessment). However, for the world of theatre, music and the live performing arts, this summer seemed to be safe to go back into the auditorium. Restrictions were loosened, masks discarded, and there was nothing preventing the theatres from a experiencing a boom: an explosion of pent-up energy which would send audiences streaming back into their subscription-season seats. Except – it didn’t happen or at least not in the expected numbers.  Across the world theatres and opera houses have registered a certain reluctance on the part of audiences to get back in their seats. Britain’s leading theatre trade magazine The Stage headlined on 22 August 2022 during the Edinburgh Festival: ‘Covid is having “enormous but silent” impact on EdFringe’.[1] The final weeks of the theatre season in Germany were dominated by the term Publikumsschwund, i.e. dwindling audiences, and in far-off New Zealand theatres struggled with intermittent openings and closures, as Covid infections rose and fell. Each of these cases is slightly different but they all share a number of characteristics. The combination of cast and staff illness, spectatorial hesitancy and governmental restrictions creates suboptimal conditions for live theatre. Although discrete factors, they are often interrelated: for instance, recurrent infections in the cast lead to regular cancellations of performances, which in turn disillusion audiences, and even seasoned subscription-ticket veterans lose interest after the third cancellation. This article draws on a comparative study of theatre in the UK and Germany.[2] While still ongoing, we can provide some provisional insights and propose observations on the current iteration of theatre in crisis mode. Theatre under global pandemic conditions has proven to be a fruitful field to investigate dis:connectivity. The closure of theatres in March 2020 was a genuinely global measure and experience. Most theatres and indeed cultural venues of any kind shut down and remained that way well into 2021. Although the immediate impact is clearly economic, as the whole workforce employed in the performing arts sector was effectively laid off or placed on various furlough schemes, the long-term effects may be much wider. The closures produced absence in the form of a complete dearth of live performance. The flow of productions and personnel which is both local, national and international (especially opera) was interrupted for months, even years as carefully calibrated timetables evaporated; and hastily improvised workarounds (detours) in the form of streaming became all the rage. As the pandemic progressed, the topics changed from sheer economic survival to the pros and cons of digitalisation, to the mechanics of social distancing in a theatre auditorium. Currently, we are beginning to see the outlines of theatre under post-pandemic conditions: a loss of audience confidence, recurrent illness, and uncertainty in programming.

Where have all the spectators gone?

Fig.1 Berliner Ensemble. Seating according to the rules of social distancing. https://twitter.com/blnensemble/status/1278239898525466625/photo/1
In July 2022, the word of the month in the German theatre scene was Publikumsschwund. Numerous newspapers and magazines carried headlines featuring the term and all agreed that theatres had had a bad season even though there were few to no restrictions. The Süddeutsche Zeitung published a long article titled Der Einbruch: Dem Theater fehlen die Zuschauer (The collapse: The theatre lacks spectators),[3] in which the authors, theatre critics Peter Laudenbach (Berlin) and Egbert Tholl (Munich), presented results of a journalistic survey they had undertaken. Artistic directors (Intendanten) reported that theatres had lost half of their subscribers in the past two years — a brutal slump, also caused by the fact that many houses had to suspend their subscriptions in winter because of the pandemic restrictions. Prominent stages such as the Berlin Volksbühne were happy if they managed to sell 25% of seats. At Dortmund’s city theatre, artistic director Julia Wissert had an average of 44 paying spectators per performance over the past season — in a house with 500 seats. The harshest polemic is reserved for the Munich Kammerspiele:
The biggest failure of the Münchner Kammerspiele in the current season was a play about living and dying with Covid in intensive care. And apparently fewer and fewer audience members feel like being lectured from the stage with banalities critical of capitalism and the latest twists and turns of identity politics. Here the pandemic acts like an accelerant. It intensifies an audience crisis that badly managed theatres have brought on themselves. Their self-referentiality and arrogance are not likely to be a wise survival strategy in the face of failing audiences.[4]  
The polemic against certain forms of ‘progressive’ theatre is further sharpened by showing that theatres following mainstream programming, such as the Berlin Ensemble (84% capacity) or Munich’s own Volkstheater, could demonstrate robust attendance figures. The authors conclude that spectators are looking for either familiar titles, great acting or ‘genuine stories’. While the author-critics clearly have a critical axe to grind in respect to post-dramatic, experimental theatre (which programmatically eschews all three criteria), a recent empirical survey confirms the overall drop in attendance. In July 2022 the Deutsche Bühnenverein (the German-speaking theatre-managers association) presented the official theatre statistics for the previous season. Compared to 2018/2019, the last pre-Covid season, the 2020/21 season demonstrates a colossal 86% drop in attendance figures.[5] These figures represent the highpoint of the corona pandemic as well as periods of intermittent reopening and do not take account of the ‘recovery’ in spring and summer 2022. The figures are by any account dramatic and represent a major interruption of an established cultural practice: attending theatre.

Digital futures

During the deepest and darkest lockdowns in 2020, the brightest light shone digitally. Whether theatres streamed old recordings of past productions or began to produce bespoke productions for the internet (with various degrees of hybridity in between), digital theatre appeared to hold the key to new possibilities for theatre. Fans of German theatre based in New York suddenly gained gratis access to the digital vaults of the Schaubühne in Berlin going back to the 1970s, whereas disciples of Milo Rau’s NTGent, arguably the most talked-about theatre in Europe, could watch new productions online in high-quality, digital streams for a modest price (fig.2).
Fig 2. Luc Perceval’s production of Yellow – The Sorrows of Belgium II: Rex at NTGent, an exploration of Belgian collaboration with the Nazis, was made available as a livestream in March 2021. New performances in November 2022 are no longer streamed. Image: https://www.ntgent.be/en/productions/yellow-ntgent
The hype was, however, more discursive than actual. Characteristic for discursive hype is a collection of essays published quickly in autumn 2020: Lernen aus dem Lockdown? Nachdenken über Freies Theater (Learning from the lockdown? Reflections on independent theatre).[6] As the title indicates, the main focus is on the independent sector, which was especially hard hit by the total shutdown of all live performance. The embrace of digital technology, for example, is one of the more emphatic stances we find in the independent scene which implies a critique of entrenched positions. For example, in the article by Michael Annoff und Nuray Demir, Showcase im Splitscreen: Videobotschaften an die Dominanzkultur (Show case in a split screen: video messages to the dominant culture):
In the silence of the home office, old audience-development dreams are awakened, in which new groups of visitors are won over without having to change themselves…. But theatre will only emerge stronger from the crisis if it starts from scratch: with its programming and its dramaturgies. In 2018, The Carters shot their ‘APES**T’ video at the Louvre and quickly had more clicks than the museum had visitors all year.[7]  
To date 233 million views on YouTube suggest indeed that a rap video filmed in a high-culture temple finds more interest than a production from the independent performance scene.
Fig.3 The Carters APES**T. YouTube screenshot.
  Their point is that the video is a beautifully filmed and iconographically resonant work referencing numerous memes and tropes of Black culture, which demand exegesis using the tools of performance analysis. As the authors put it: ‘Mona Lisa had to settle for the role of an extra, like an aging silent film star’.[8] There is also a definite pessimistic undertone in their argument: ‘In the 2020 crisis, TikTok dances go through the roof. The audience figures for the lockdown programmes of German-language cultural institutions, however, are languishing in double digits’.[9] Can this discrepancy be bridged? The tension between the past and the future is framed in the Carters’ video as a form of Afrofuturism, and as a more universal digital future, a theme that runs through the collected essays like a red thread. It is a tension that remains unresolved, intentionally so, as the exponents of the metaphysics of presence defend positions against or in contrast to the advocates of the digital future. In the cold light of empirical research, the digital future appears less than incandescent. The survey cited above counted a total of 245 464 tickets sold for digital theatre, a small fraction of total sales (under pre-pandemic conditions the German-speaking theatres sell about 20 million tickets per annum). At least an increase in productions has been noted. In the last pre-Covid season of 2018/19, a total of zero digital productions was recorded versus 18% in the 2020/21 season, although the ticket sales suggest the attendance was quite modest.[10] Some theatres have introduced digital production units alongside the traditional divisions of drama, opera and dance. It remains to be seen whether they are here to stay. Theatre institutions around the world pin their claims for legitimacy and hence public funding on providing (performing) art as a ‘live’, not a digital experience.

Health and wellbeing

Liveness has proven to be the Achilles heel of theatre during the pandemic. While health concerns may keep some spectators away, they are potentially replaceable by other, less risk-averse, visitors. Infections among casts have been much more problematic. A single Covid case on the part of an important performer can lead to the performance being cancelled. Quarantine regulations in most countries generally enforce a period of isolation until a negative test can be produced (a minimum of five days). Theatre in New Zealand (and not just theatre) has been bedevilled by the household rule, which means all members of a household must quarantine when one member is infected. On the level of systemic comparison, we can observe the same problem leading to different but equally debilitating outcomes. In Germany, the repertoire and ensemble system – of which the country is so proud that it has applied to the UNESCO for ICH status (Intangible Cultural Heritage) – has proven to be particularly susceptible. Because a theatre keeps so many productions in repertoire, and many actors are often chronically overworked, parts are not understudied. When an actor playing Macbeth, or any other larger role, contracts Covid the performance is usually cancelled. Opera can handle the situation better on account of its classical repertoire. An ailing Madame Butterfly can be replaced at short notice by dozens of willing substitutes, who need only learn the moves of the mise en scène. The English theatre system, with its long runs and culture of understudies, has also fared better. Nevertheless, the independent theatre scene everywhere has suffered as the recent Edinburgh Fringe painfully demonstrated. The ‘enormous but silent impact’ quoted at the beginning of this essay refers to the absences and gaps created by cancelled performances caused in turn by sickness among cast members and venue staff. Linda Crooks, executive producer of the Traverse theatre in Edinburgh is cited as saying: ‘There’s several things we are trying to reconcile. We’re still managing what can be – on occasions – a highly debilitating virus that can knock out shows. We are trying to build back audience confidence and any mention of the first issue can impact on the second, which in turn hits the very fragile bottom line hard – against a backdrop of exorbitant costs.’[11] The Edfringe, as it is now known, is unique as a festival because it functions without curatorial control.[12] Groups and artists self-fund to attend and hope for the big break. While this state of precarity is not comparable to the long-term contracts enjoyed by German actors at publicly funded theatres, the dynamics are similar, except for the direct financial risk incurred.  


Even in highly divergent theatre systems such as the German and the British, the effects of the pandemic have, and continue to be, highly isomorphic. Just as the pandemic generated remarkably similar responses around the globe, so too have theatres followed a roughly similar playbook. Consigned to lockdowns in the first phase, cautious openings and then renewed closures in the second and third phases, followed by more or less complete reopening since early 2022, theatres have done all in their power to return to the status quo ante. The utopian energy of the initial lockdowns, where dreams of a new theatre were articulated, has dissipated and been replaced by a high degree of uncertainty and pragmatic responses. The interruptions, gaps and workarounds created by the pandemic have, however, opened up new spaces that make a return to path-dependent patterns of production and reception ever more problematic. And the heating costs for the coming winter have not yet been factored in….   [1] Giverny Masso, ‘Covid Is Having “Enormous but Silent” Impact on EdFringe, Say Artists’, The Stage, 22 August 2022. [2] ‘Theatre After Covid’, Institute Website, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. University of London, 2022, https://www.cssd.ac.uk/Research/Research-Outputs-and-Projects/Current-Research-Projects/theatre-after-covid. [3] Egbert Tholl and Peter Laudenbach, ‘Der Einbruch. Dem Theater Fehlen Die Zuschauer.’, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11 June 2022, https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/theater-publikum-corona-krise-berliner-ensemble-1.5619166?reduced=true. [4] Tholl and Laudenbach (Author’s translation). [5] Detlev Baur, ‘Betriebsunfall Oder Zeitenwende?’, Die Deutsche Bühne, July 2022, 39. [6] Haiko Pfost, Falk Schreiber, and Wilma Renfordt, eds., Lernen Aus Dem Lockdown? Nachdenken Über Freies Theater (Berlin: Kindle Edition, 2020). [7] Michael Annoff and Demir Nuray, ‘Showcase Im Splitscreen: Videobotschaften an Die Dominanzkultur’, in Lernen Aus Dem Lockdown? Nachdenken Über Freies Theater, ed. Haiko Pfost (Berlin: Kindle Edition, 2020), 17 (Author’s translation). [8] Annoff and Nuray, 17 (Author’s translation). [9] Annoff and Nuray, 17 (Author’s translation). [10] Baur, ‘Betriebsunfall Oder Zeitenwende?’, 40. [11] Cited in: Masso, ‘Covid Is Having “Enormous but Silent” Impact on EdFringe, Say Artists’. [12] Audience attendance at the Fringe dropped by 25% compared to 2019. See: Giverny Masso, ‘Edinburgh Fringe Ticket Sales down 25% across Key Venues’, The Stage, 28 August 2022 This was attributed to a combination of high accommodation costs, disruption to public transport and high fuel costs.
Annoff, Michael, and Demir Nuray. ‘Showcase Im Splitscreen: Videobotschaften an Die Dominanzkultur’. In Lernen Aus Dem Lockdown? Nachdenken Über Freies Theater, edited by Haiko Pfost, 16–22. Berlin: Kindle Edition, 2020. Baur, Detlev. ‘Betriebsunfall Oder Zeitenwende?’ Die Deutsche Bühne, July 2022, 38–40. Masso, Giverny. ‘Covid Is Having “Enormous but Silent” Impact on EdFringe, Say Artists’. The Stage, 22 August 2022. ———. ‘Edinburgh Fringe Ticket Sales down 25% across Key Venues’. The Stage, 28 August 2022. Pfost, Haiko, Falk Schreiber, and Wilma Renfordt, eds. Lernen Aus Dem Lockdown? Nachdenken Über Freies Theater. Berlin: Kindle Edition, 2020. The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. University of London. ‘Theatre After Covid’. Institute Website, 2022. https://www.cssd.ac.uk/Research/Research-Outputs-and-Projects/Current-Research-Projects/theatre-after-covid. Tholl, Egbert, and Peter Laudenbach. ‘Der Einbruch. Dem Theater Fehlen Die Zuschauer.’ Süddeutsche Zeitung. 11 June 2022. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/theater-publikum-corona-krise-berliner-ensemble-1.5619166?reduced=true.
citation information:
Balme, Christopher. ‘Covid and the Theatre: A Constant State of Disruption?’ Global Dis:Connect Blog (blog), 2 July 2023. https://www.globaldisconnect.org/02/07/covid-and-the-theatre-a-constant-state-of-disruption/.
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