Graffiti by anonymous artist The Rebel Bear, Glasgow, Scotland. Courtesy of Wiki Commons. Top image shows In The Heart Of The Beast Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Courtesy of Lorie Shaull.
About this project
Scholars and practitioners of performance have traditionally emphasized liveness, ephemerality, and the co-presence of performer and audience as key aspects of what makes performance distinct from other art forms. But as quarantine and social distancing regulations have made conventional performance impossible, artists have adopted new methods that call those definitions into question.
We are three scholars of transnational performance at the University of Toronto who wish to discover how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the nature of global performance. We are concerned with how artists are coping as their means of expression and livelihood is constrained, but we also recognize that such constraints may offer some potential for creative responses.
Our three-part research project will: (1) research innovative online performance initiatives from across the globe, putting projects in Canada in dialogue with global examples; (2) provide a website that documents 6-8 exemplary projects; and (3) produce an online roundtable on which these artists can discuss their work.
This project is supported by funding from the University of Toronto's Student Engagement Award and a CATR grant from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research. Check back to this website to follow our progress.