1 Apr 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm Online


Cambridge Festival Event


In the early days of the internet digital media designers and practitioners often talked of Computers as Theatre. In recent times, as we have been forced to stage ourselves through technologies such as Zoom and Teams to a degree never previously undertaken, and as opportunities for other forms of ‘real life’ interaction have dwindled, the prospect of computers as theatre and ourselves as performers is once again provocative and useful.

Thinking about contemporary computers as theatre raises new questions; about how we are ‘staged’, who is doing the ‘staging’ in Zoomic or other more blended interactions, what are the back-channels, and who is watching, or capturing what behind the scenes? Further what is the drama here? What unrolls? Where does the performance end? And how do the forms of presence we are developing in the mundane sphere of the everyday relate to the more specialised forms of theatre undertaken in other theatres; those of medicine, or learning, or the theatre itself, for instance?

This discussion will be convened by Prof Caroline Bassett. Panellists will include theatre practitioners, artists and academics, including Dr Zoë Svendsen, Dr Imanuel Schipper, Dr Annja Neumann, and an OWL.

Professor Caroline Bassett explores the intersection between emerging technologies and cultural forms and practices. Based in the Faculty of English at Cambridge, she is the Director of Cambridge Digital Humanities. She is currently researching automation and new forms of materialism.


Short biographies:

Dr Annja Neumann is a Research Fellow in Digital Humanities and specialises in cross-disciplinary and practice-based research on the staging of spaces and theatres of medicine.

Imanuel Schipper is a researcher in Performance Studies at HafenCity University in Hamburg. He also works as a dramaturg and curator for the international theatre group Rimini Protokoll.

Dr Zoë Svendsen is Lecturer in Drama and Performance in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.

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