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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Immersive Theatres

Intimacy and Immediacy in Contemporary Performance

ISBN 9781137019837
Publication Date June 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

Charting the rise of the immersive theatre phenomenon, this is the first survey of immersive theories and practices for students, scholars and practitioners of contemporary performance. It includes original interviews with immersive artists and examines key topics such as site-specific performance and immersive technologies.

Josephine Machon is Senior Research Fellow in Contemporary Performance Practice at Middlesex University, London, UK. She is the author of (Syn)aesthetics: Redefining Visceral Performance (2009, 2011). Josephine is also the co-editor of Performance and Technology (2006), Sensualities/Textualities and Technologies (2010) and Identity, Performance and Technology (2012) and joint editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Series in Performance and Technology.

List of Illustrations
Contributing Artists and their Practice
Introduction: Immersive Theatres Intimacy and Immediacy in Contemporary Performance
1. Definitions and Details
2. Features & Finer Details: A Scale of Immersivity
3. Immersive Perspectives
4. Introduction: Immersion, intimacy and Immediacy in Practice
5. Michael Morris of Artangel
6. Felix Barrett of Punchdrunk
7. Bruce Gladwin of Back To Back Theatre
8. Lundahl & Seitl
9. Silvia Mercuriali
10. Tassos Stevens of Coney
11. Sam Holdsworth of Nimble Fish
12. Punchdrunk Enrichment
13. Louise Ann Wilson
14. Bill Mitchell and Sue Hill of WildWorks
15. Adrian Howells
16. Tristan Sharps of dreamthinkspeak
17. Conclusion: Immersive Theatres
Recommended Reading and Research


“This book comes at a potential tipping point for those of us who study and practise theatre. In the age of Web 2.0, immersive practice looks forward to a rich style of developing affective storytelling and connection via theatrical performance. At the heart of this book is an assessment of the state of theatre at the outset of an existential crisis, looking for ways to bring its audience back into the fold.” (William Lewis, New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 31 (3), August, 2015)|Machon's book provides a thorough, detailed exploration of 'immersive' theater ... Though Machon is expressive throughout, she is at her best when she uses a broad array of theoretical lenses – drawn from anthropology, architecture, literature, performance, geography, philosophy, and visual art – in order to delineate what makes the referenced theaters immersive, immediate, and intimate. This is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in contemporary theater. Essential reading' – Choice
'A uniquely comprehensive and valuable text that I would have no hesitation in recommending to my students. The critical commentary combines with the rich collection of interviews to make an excellent resource for undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and general interest readers.' – Sita Popat, Chair in Performance and Technology, University of Leeds, UK
'A useful and very necessary book. It is the first monograph that is solely devoted to immersive theatre, a phenomenon of huge popularity, which has nonetheless given both critics and scholars a hard time to pin down and to conceptualise ... this volume is very much apt to spark scholarly debate on immersive theatre and advance its scholarly and aesthetic understanding.' – Journal of Contemporary Drama in English
'Machon is deft in her acknowledgement that the practices she covers may, to some, fall outside the realm of 'theatre', but her contribution is important, attempting to establish and confirm a new form of theatrical enterprise outside the traditional model of passive spectatorship.' – William Lewis, New Theatre Quarterly
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