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Metamorphosis of Postdramatic Theatre in the Context of Virtuality and Performativity

30 August 2020

09:00 - 12:00 hrs (GMT+7)

Piyawat Louilarpprasert, Curator


In 1960s, the word “postdramatic theatre” was established to reveal human’s recognitional sensibilities during the theatrical performance which was described as “a simultaneous and multi-perspectival form of perceiving” (Lehmann, Hans-Thies: 2006, Postdramatic Theatre). In the performance situation, postdramatic theatre contains a main “plot”. The plot is, however, does not necessarily need to be followed. Since the aims of process in postdramatic theatre is concentrated mainly on the present situation and interactions between space, performers, and audience. 

The performers are encouraged by the situational environment to disorganize their plots or texts in order to connect to the space, audience reactions, and fellow performers’ conversations (both in action and text). Moreover, the consequences of action will be occupied by the process of “imitation/variation”, in which the main “plot” will be represented and/or modified through the ideas of ambiguity and disorientation. 

The idea of postdramatic theatre creates a new situation which is a part of the simultaneous circumstance and multi-perspectival form of human perception regarding the reformation of the original plot and a new situation/scene. The idea of postdramatic theatre has been extended to several types of contemporary music theatre such as instrumental theatre, total theatre, processional theatre and technological theatre by artists/composers such as Mauricio Kagel, Dieter Schnebel, John Cage as well as later composers, Heiner Goebbels, Carola Bauckholt and Manos Tsangaris. 

At present, the extension of postdramatic theatre has been widely adapted with multiple possibilities of technology, for instance, virtuality and multimedia-experiences, being explored. On the one hand, technology is an exceptional weapon to construct a creative form of theatre and performance beyond the limitation of human’s recognitional sensibilities.

On the other hand, metaphorically, there is a glitch that bypasses human’s awareness and sensitivity in the real-life situation which causes delusions in human’s perceptual experiences and sensibilities. From this starting point, are we to consider virtual performativity as a misapprehension of live performance, or the metamorphosis of postdramatic theatre? What is actually the true determination for humans to perceive or become aware of situational experiences through performances? What are differentiations between virtuality and reality regarding postdramatic theatrical experience? In the Princess Galyani Vadhana International Symposium, Tacet(i) ensemble (resident ensemble) and myself will explore these ideas and questions through a panel discussion and performances of theatrical compositions with virtual process. 

Tacet(i) Ensemble will perform a program by composers whose works reflect the metamorphosis of postdramatic theatres. These include Maurico Kagel, Dieter Schnebel, Simon Steen-Andersen, Carola Bauckholt Manos Tsangaris and Piyawat Louilarpprasert. 

Panel 1: 

Pamornpan Komolpamorn, Thanakarn Schofield, Noppakorn Auesirinucroch , 

Panel 2: 

Nikorn Sae Tang, Yossral Songkiatkul, Thanapol Setabrahmana and Anothai Nitibhon

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