Beyond immersive theatre: Aesthetics, politics and productive participation

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Abstract

Immersive theatre currently enjoys ubiquity, popularity and recognition in theatre journalism and scholarship. However, the politics of immersive theatre aesthetics still lacks a substantial critique. Does immersive theatre model a particular kind of politics, or a particular kind of audience? What’s involved in the production and consumption of immersive theatre aesthetics? Is a productive audience always an empowered audience? And do the terms of an audience’s empowerment stand up to political scrutiny? questions by tracing the evolution of neoliberal politics and the experience economy over the past four decades. Through detailed critical analyses of work by Ray Lee, Lundahl and Seitl, Punchdrunk, shunt, Theatre Delicatessen and Half Cut, Adam Alston argues that there is a tacit politics to immersive theatre aesthetics - a tacit politics that is illuminated by neoliberalism, and that is ripe to be challenged by the evolution and diversification of immersive theatre.

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Alston, A. (2016). Beyond immersive theatre: Aesthetics, politics and productive participation. Beyond Immersive Theatre: Aesthetics, Politics and Productive Participation (pp. 1–241). Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-48044-6

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