At present, we are witnessing a significant transformation of established forms of spectatorship in theatre, performance art and beyond. In particular, immersive and participatory forms of theatre allow audiences and performers to interact in a shared performance space.


Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances discusses forms and concepts of contemporary spectatorship and explores various modes of audience participation in theory as well as in practice. The volume also reflects on what new terms and methods must be developed in order to address the theoretical challenges of contemporary immersive performances.


Split into three parts, Staging Spectators in Immersive Performances, respectively, focuses on various strategies for mobilising the audience, methodological questions for research on being a spectator in immersive and participatory forms of theatre, and thematising new modes of partaking and ways of spectating in contemporary art.


Poignantly capturing experiences that can be viewed as manifestations of affective relationality in the strongest possible sense, this volume will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as Theatre and Performance Studies, Media Studies and Philosophy.

chapter Chapter 1|18 pages

Immersion and spectatorship at the interface of theatre, media tech and daily life

An introduction
ByDoris Kolesch

part I|60 pages

Mobile audiences

chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

Unexpected encounter

On installation art as immersive space
ByBarbara Gronau

chapter Chapter 3|17 pages

Doggies, masters and the end of the European Union

On immersive theatre installations by SIGNA and Thomas Bellinck
ByBenjamin Wihstutz

chapter Chapter 4|7 pages

On the impossibility of being together

BySigna Köstler, Theresa Schütz

chapter Chapter 5|13 pages

Bordering and shattering the stage

Mobile audiences as compositional forces
ByLiesbeth Groot Nibbelink

chapter Chapter 6|6 pages

Structures of spectatorship

ByKerstin Schankweiler

part II|62 pages

Researching spectatorship

chapter Chapter 7|7 pages

Keep it real

ByJulian Hetzel, Theresa Schütz

chapter Chapter 8|14 pages

Participatory audiencing and the committed return

ByMatthew Reason

chapter Chapter 9|13 pages

Immersive art – immersive research?

ByStefanie Husel

chapter Chapter 10|20 pages

Parsing ‘commitment’

The multiple valences of spectatorship
ByJanelle Reinelt

chapter Chapter 11|5 pages

The case for empirical audience research

ByAntje Kahl

part III|64 pages

Questions of power – politics of affect in immersive performances

chapter Chapter 12|11 pages

Feminism, audience interaction, and performer authority 1

ByJen Harvie

chapter Chapter 13|11 pages

The promise of participation revisited

Affective strategies of participation
ByGareth White

chapter Chapter 14|7 pages

Capturing complexity while being pressed for time

ByMona el Gammal, Theresa Schütz

chapter Chapter 15|20 pages

Immersive guilt factories

ByTheresa Schütz

chapter Chapter 16|7 pages

Dark immersion

Some thoughts on SIGNA’s Wir Hunde/Us Dogs
ByRainer Mühlhoff