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Cervera, Felipe. “Openings.” Global Performance Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, 2020,

Felipe Cervera

LASALLE College of the Arts

It is June 2020, and the world is immersed in a pandemic. This editorial is difficult to write, for the situation is neither clear nor easy to think through, and the interpretation or relevance of any of the materials published here may change substantially by the time of publication. Indeed, what a difference a pandemic makes — this might as well become the moto of our generation.

In the geopolitical context, the virus is a game changer. Speaking continentally and at risk of generalising for the sake of offering a brief context, as I write several countries in East and Southeast Asia are facing their second or third wave of COVID-19 contagion. Singapore, where I am based, initially lauded globally as an exemplar case on how to mitigate the contagion, has now fallen from grace as the virus soared freely within the dormitories of migrant workers. More than 20,000 confirmed infections in the span of a few weeks evidenced the violent stratification in among the city-state’s population. New Zealand has declared an initial victory but remains with a closed-borders policy that is said to remain indefinitely. Several countries in Europe start to emerge from lockdown only to face an inevitable comeback from the virus as numbers spike again. Reports from Africa are scarce, in what becomes a tragic exercise of decoding whether the lack of information is due to the infrastructure there not being able enough to be reporting and testing cases as massively as other regions, or because COVID-19 did not erase discursive and structural racism in the geo- and biopolitical discourse. Latin America faces a serious overwhelming of medical facilities, with Brazil being the most seriously hit country. Similarly, The U.S. succumbs to the virus and crumbles under an appalling kakistocracy as its executive officer buffs and puffs about his own omnipotence despite his country having the largest death toll worldwide. China — the virus’ original epicentre — is gaining terrain and deploying its resources with the ambition, contested nonetheless, to consolidate its status as the global economic superpower. Crucially, the U.S. and China behave as if they were in a cold war of sorts that uses the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a proxy to the mutual challenges posed in the realms of international trade and finance, and geopolitical influence. The latest, as of 1 June 2020, is that the U.S. has withdrawn from the WHO. The post-1945 world order is visibly shifting.

In the micro-levels the situation is not very different. We are told to treat each other as infected until otherwise confirmed. Social policy is being shaped around the imperative of social distancing, which then implies that social ties must be physically stretched to both the bare minimum for the sake of public health but digitally enhanced at the same time for the sake of social cohesion. Again, to give myself and Singapore as examples, among other rules, this has meant that for the past two months I have not been able to interact physically with anyone other than my partner — on penalty of fine, jail, or worse, on risk of losing my residential status. And yet, in parallel, I have experienced a period of marked social heightening, as it became evident that friends were caring for my wife and I by sending us food, games, and checking in regularly, just as we were also sending friends food and gifts. The conflation of national security with biomedical hazard and punitive subjectification, along with the imperative and willingness to care and solidarity, is just too much of an ambivalence to handle, and the weight on both physical and mental health will, I fear, collapse everyone’s knees. The social treatment to combat the virus has had an uncanny side effect — a generalised sociophilic agoraphobia.

The impact on performance pedagogy and practice is only starting to become apparent, and the initial responses are sparking debates on eventual revisions to the principles of performance pedagogy on the one hand, as well as to a perceived unsettling of performance ontologies on the other. On the pedagogic front, theatre and performance educators globally have had to shift our delivery to digital and online platforms. While initially this caused great confusion and even dismay, it now appears that we are in for interesting revisions to the way we think, teach, make, and study performance. Symptomatic in this sense is the emphasis that the upcoming totally online Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) conference has on performance pedagogy, as well as various springs of conversations on this topic hosted by institutions and journals worldwide, with a good example in the conversations on embodied pedagogy hosted by the blog associated to the journal Theatre, Dance, & Performance Training.

Similarly, while on the one hand theatres, galleries, and public spaces have been closed for months now, dance, theatre, and performance have paradoxically increased visibility as companies and festivals have immediately transitioned and offered online content. A reason for this is obviously the need to create alternative forms of sustenance for the actors, crew, managers, directors, and theatre companies themselves, as well as a need to remain active and present in the landscape. Yet, besides being a reactive wave, it is also symptomatic of the fact that actors and theatre makers have had an explosion of creativity as we witness a cascade of content being produced “guerrilla style” from all kinds of domestic settings across the world. We should, of course, address the gender dimension of that “extra time” and the extent to which many working mothers have suffered and extra layer of labour and stress. The pandemic has detonated an explosion of pedagogic and artistic output, while at the same time fleshed out the violence of gender bias in the arts and academia.

Old binaries appear to re-gain traction without the collective discussion coming to terms with how to deal critically against them in the new context. Digital assembly has become the standard way in which live and synchronous performance is done. As a consequence, the politics of performance are now more intertwined with the politics of data and digital access than ever, and in being so performance is now also a practice that subsists in synchronicity and in asynchronicity with the world. The disciplinary specificity that we so tightly held on to for the last few decades is now, though yet again, put under pressure as lo-fi, videocall-based telematic performance soars as the go-to mode for both survival and livelihood but also, and perhaps more poignantly, as the medium used to respond creatively and critically to the moment.

The return to the online/offline binary sure reminds us of the classic debates on liveness and mediation so famously encapsulated by Philip Auslander (1999), and that in the editorial for GPS 3.1 Kevin Brown brought home to contextualise the work that this journal projects to do. Building on Auslander, and barely a few months ago, Brown wrote that the debate of “the live” versus “the recorded” had shifted towards to “the online” versus “the offline,” yet he remained critical of this re-instantiation of binaries as an epistemological framework to define the specificity of performance. Pre-pandemic, Brown noted that:

[T]hese oversimplifications and reductions fail to take into account that even offline performances depend on the network […]. The performance is not happening “on” the network, but rather “between” those two bodies, mediated through whatever interface separates them […]. (Brown)

The point that Brown makes about performance networks reminisces of the detailed account on the “social turn” in art that Shannon Jackson offers in Social Works: The Infrastructural Politics of Performance (2011). There, Jackson asks: “what if, for instance, the formal parameters of the form [performance] include the audience relation, casting such inter-subjective exchange, not as the extraneous context that surrounds it, but as the material of performance itself? What if performance challenges strict divisions about where the art ends and the rest of the world begins?” (Jackson 15). Thinking alongside Brown and Jackson, I find that a closer look at the faux binary opposition between the social and the individual is needed during this moment. What if beyond online/offline simplifications, we were relying on a simplistic binary between social and individual? What if the reliance on this binary opposition has allowed us to, the midst of the pandemic crisis, almost transparently map the possibility of a physical and political performance assembly to the offline, and the un-artistic and un-political individual in isolation to the online?

My sense here is to follow Jackson’s encouragement to shift in perspective from being “embarrassed by the infrastructural operations of performance” to instead emphasising them as a pivotal shift towards a more careful and precise understanding of performance’s engagement with the social sphere, “mapping a shared interest in the confounding of insides and outsides, selves and structures” (Jackson, 29). Certainly, the perceptual ambivalence towards online and offline performance is a consequence of our struggle to comfortably claim the ends of performance as stable once again. In this sense, I adventure to suggest that the pandemic urges us to re-think performance’s interiors and exteriors, borders, definitions, and limits in what respect how is performance supposed to assemble the social (Latour).

The pandemic has made performance a medium for a kind of worlding that is visibly infrastructural inasmuch as the poetics of telepresence are close to a Brechtian vision of the theatrical apparatus. Zoom — to use the most pervasive example — is there, literally in front of our faces, foreclosing the possibility of sharing breath with the performers and fellow spectators but evidencing the extent to which our interactions are being staged and mediated by third parties, which then become not the context, but the performance. It becomes evident then that performance is a condensation of the social network, which is now including non-humans as performers quite sensibly. Furthermore, Zoom zooms our performance experience to the background — to every living room, bedroom, kitchen and home office that exist as a backdrop. We have opened, through performance, a way of social engagement that, however awkward and perhaps transient, has taken the experience of performance sociality to a planetary level which is not paradoxically but more so precisely encountered in the remoteness and isolation of our physical positions while in lockdown. Doing so, we are also opening ourselves onto a spatial experience where the mediacy of performance is indeed the expression of our shared remotely-connected-though-asynchronous co-existence. This has forced performance to also become an opening onto a form of worldly exteriority that brings several temporalities and multiple spaces into play. We are now all performers in a multi-layered planetary performance.

We should remember that this is potentially a phase in the larger scale of the pandemic timeline. When, and if, we are allowed to go back to the venues and public spaces, the social dimension of performance would need to be recalibrated once again. In doing so, it could be useful to revise the assumptions that we had around performance before the pandemic, as well the assumptions that we quickly embraced during the pandemic while we were in survival mode. I would suppose that we are in for a period of constant reflection about the borders, exteriors, interiors, ends, and beginnings of performance and performance studies research. The trauma of the pandemic certainly would warrant so, given just how hard it impacted performance overall. As we open up from lockdown, as we move on, what are we open to change and what aren’t we? Why?

Re-calibration and Multiple Readings

A way to start answering this question is to reflect on our position. In the editorial to issue 1.2, Brown mused on the several ways in which the name of this journal can be interpreted. Indeed, the name of the journal will always be subject to concern as it refers quite literally to a system of digital control that positions bodies on the planet, and in doing so generates data that can be used for all sorts of smart or nefarious objectives. To reinstate the example, I had to stay in a “soft” home arrest for two weeks upon my return to Singapore in late March 2020 after an emergency trip to Mexico. During these two weeks, the local authorities would check on me twice or thrice a day with a text message asking me to report my location, and in so doing verifying — via GPS — that I was inside my home. To ask today what is our position has a substantially different meaning than doing so five months ago. To reveal one’s position, to use GPS, is today a biopolitical act related to the geopolitics of contagion. Stay home (if you actually have one). However, satellite GPS networks can also save lives and aid humanitarian and ecological assistance, and is also part of the larger satellite network in charge of enabling performance experiences during impasse of social distancing. The same satellite network that locates and disciplines performance while it also disperses performance and its agency. Indeed, Pre-pandemic much of our sociality was already orbital, and that in this sense we were already extra-terrestrial. Now, during the pandemic, our relationship to our own orbital space has increased, though perhaps forgotten in the midst of information that is related to the virus more directly.

GPS satellites are perceptual tools. Their output informs perceptions of our planet and of our position on it. In the social scale, they also create perception patterns according to which we organise several aspects of our co-habitance with humans and non-humans. And if we think of GPS the journal in this way, we can also entertain the idea that this journal — and any journal for that matter — is fundamentally an instrument to perceive knowledge according to specific scales and systems. Framed in this manner, the questions are: what is the position of this journal vis-à-vis performance knowledge pre, during, and post-pandemic? How has the pandemic changed who knows, what we know, how we know it, and how we share that knowledge? Indeed, what difference a pandemic makes?

All of the contributions were written and developed pre-pandemic, with the last legs of the editorial rounds towards publication made while in lockdown, and thus authors have had a chance to refer to the situation should this be relevant in the context of their arguments. However, beyond explicit references and links with the crisis, what appears to me crucial is to reflect how these articles will be read now, in contrast to how they read months ago, and in doing so also entertain the idea of how they will be read in five years. While the initial editorial line that we followed for this issue was always to reflect on “the open” as a curatorial concept, and link this to a reflection of the open access status of our contents, the pandemic has made me at least re-read the contributions to this issue under a new gaze.

In “Augmented Viewpoints: Applying The Viewpoints to Multimedia Performance,” Darren Moore, Andreas Schlegel, Adam Marple and Brian O’Reilly reflect on the intra-disciplinary boundaries of performance, highlighting that multimedia improvisation blurs the in and out of music and physical theatre with relation to each other. They rely on The Viewpoints for this, and argue that it can be experienced as a “framework to support new improvisatory structures and paradigms for multimedia performance” insofar as it “provides a rigorous yet open-ended structure to aid collective improvisations.” Initially, I read their piece from the perceptual lens of multimedia performance and its eventual opening to The Viewpoints as a creative methodology. However, the article now acquires a new dimension as it leads me to reflect on the extent to which the last three months in higher education in the contexts of theatre and performance have indeed been a colossal multimedia improvisation, and I wonder whether The Viewpoints may aid us in decoding the spatial, temporal, and relational aspects of distance making and learning.

My initial experience was similar when I first read Naomi Bennett’s “aisthēsis: Feeling Through the Skin of my Eyes.” I was drawn to the poignant provocation it made to our understanding of the haptic experience of telematic performance. Having had extensive experience with collaborative work that is conducted fully online and via video-conference software for the past five years, I resonated with the possibilities of nurturing shared affects which may be expressed tactually despite being the dis-embodied experience of tuning-in with one another across the mediated environment. The piece elaborates a beautiful reflection on the possibilities of virtual touch in situations of telematic performance. Its argument refers to an interactive projection installation that took place in 2019 — so well ahead of the pandemic — that drew on the Japanese concept of ma, which refers to the “potential that exists in the space between,” and placed it in relation to the embodied practice of Contact Improvisation. Bennett argues that “by engaging the audience-participants in acts of disembodied” physicality, the piece blended “the physical and the virtual, creating new possibilities for connection between individual bodies.” In so doing, the author makes a point that was initially relevant to those that were interested in the interplays of performance and tech but that now is pivotal to understand the multimedia improvisation we continue to engage as consequence of the pandemic. This point is that embodied affect and online communication are not exclusive of each other, and that placing these in an opposed binary is not accurate.

Crucially, and riffing of Walter Benjamin’s 1935 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Bennett emphasises that “contemporary artistic scholarship needs to be clearer in its distinction between technologically entangled art, and the technological reproduction of art.” This seems a specially important point to have in mind as we navigate through the pandemic and its after effects. We run the risk of collapsing all the possibilities of digital performance to the constrictions of a video-call and its affordances for the sake of maintaining some sort of “performance-like” presence and synchronous quality to our doings without asking or what else can the digital do other than keeping the chain of production going. Indeed, during the last few months we have been witnessing cascading amounts of archival materials from theatre and performance makers worldwide flock our social media and digital interfaces. Companies have directly engaged with creating digital work, however rudimentary, both as a way to survive but also as a more earnest exploration of the new media that becomes widely available during the pandemic. “ZOOM as medium” will probably be the title of an article or book coming up somewhere sometime soon. To what extent is this deluge an expression of the struggle to pivot out of a trouble without really being able to create a sustainable break away from capitalism, now in its digital phase? Are we accelerating production for the sake of production in what first appears to be an expression of global solidarity?

Emma Willis thinks along these lines in her piece, “No Exit: Performance Failure in the Global Mall,” where she locates the mall as the epitome of capitalistic architecture and analyses it as a phenomenon that permanently closes its experience — that has no exit. Willis draws on Mark Fisher’s concept of “capitalist realism” and riffs off Jean-Paul Sartre’s modernist play, No Exit to make the point that just as how in the play “the existence […] of the characters […] is only guaranteed whilst they remain inside their torture chamber[,] similarly, in the conceptual design of the mall, the global consumer citizen only exists” and is only validated as existing in its inside. When I first read through the piece pre-pandemic, I thought the argument made was important to consider in light of the seeming incapacity to exit the dynamic of capitalistic production, consumption, and accumulation in reaction to climate crisis. Furthermore, I found the piece close to home, as much of the architecture and urban planning of Singapore is done having malls as town centres, and thus the social economy is very much geared towards dynamics of trade and transaction that have the costumer — the citizen — as its start and end. Reading the piece in the pandemic, however, makes me reflect once again just how intricate the spatial overlaps of capital are, and the extent to which architecture — physical or digital — is made to pass as something else should the situation require it and for the sake of continuing trade. Indeed, now that malls are closed, the Internet has become a gargantuan market place, with thousands of big and small merchants enacting a digital mall with no apparent exit.

The effect of overlapping spaces in the social interweaving of place is at the centre too of Fraser Stevens’ text in “The Performance of Covert Cultural Landscapes: A Theatre/Archaeology Analysis.” Here, Stevens analysis the case of Camp X, located in Ontario, Canada, which is one of the original sites where spies were trained to conduct espionage during the Second World War, and would later become a site for training of FBI and pre-CIA agents and spies. Written as an auto-ethnographic account of Stevens’ visit to the site, the text reveals the extent to which the site is made to be invisible and thus its memories closed off from public access all the while sitting in plain sight of a national park. Unpacking this as a “covert landscape,” Stevens explains how such landscapes “present a multitude of iterations and intersections of performance events,” and is thus an example of “deliberate actions undertaken by governments and agencies to create physically a location that is not-not performance attempting to blend in to the surrounding world picture through concealment.” The reflection that Stevens offers in this sense is noteworthy, as it draws our attention, first, to the complicated relationship between exterior and interiors, and the methodological risk in assuming that these are stable categories necessarily pinned to categories such as the natural reserve and the spy training camp. However, when read from the viewpoint of the pandemic, the article may lead us into an analysis of how several spaces around the world have been repurposed as temporary hospitals and caring facilities, and the extent to which these “po- up” landscapes will eventually disappear leaving behind a rather complicated spatial memory on their sites.

Thinking about the complicated relationships between body and environment, Annette Arlander’s “Revisiting the Rock — Self-diffraction as a Strategy” is perhaps the article in this issue whose reading has changed more radically since the pandemic exploded. Building on the work on post-human performativity by Karen Barad, Arlander suggests the notion of “self-diffraction” as a possible methodology for artistic research. The notion refers to a methodology for work on the self and on artistic practice that is fundamentally enacted by “choosing a place (or perhaps simply a pose) and returning to it regularly, with or without a recording device.” The example that Arlander provides is a reference to previous work by her in which she sat on the edge of a river imitating the pose of a sculpture, and thus her argument and visual composition (the contribution is a video-essay) inevitably leads our attention to the ways in which the human body intra-acts with its environment. Again, when I first watched the video-essay, I was drawn to the careful attempt that Arlander does to put Barad to test in actual practice, and her generous exploration of artistic and practice research. However, post-pandemic, all I can focus on now is the possibility of facing nature unrestricted. The audiovisual experience enabled by Arlander’s work is now accompanied by a longing of being able to sit by the water, and breath there.

Indeed, the difference a pandemic makes. The last three pieces in this issue highlight that even more. In “Re-enacting Ashura and Animal Sacrifice,” Nazli Akhtari offers an auto-ethnographical account of her experience attending Ta’ziyeh performances while the ritual celebrations of Shi’ite Muharram in Iran. Ta’ziyeh has been the object of analysis of various theatre and performance scholars — both inside and outside of Iran — little attention has been given to the role that animals and their sacrifice have in these performances. Poignantly, Akhtari warns that “in moments when any conversation on violence and political oppression in Iran runs the risk of contributing to discourses of Iranophobia and Islamophobia by reproducing the dominant stereotypes of Iranian people as agency-less victims” she offers a more accurate path for “thinking and writing about performances in which Muslim men kill, animals die, and women cry.” Like with the rest of the pieces, and having worked with Ta’ziyeh earlier on in my life, I thought that Akhtari’s offering was drawing our attention to animal performance in the Muslim world — and in the Si’ite context more specifically — in ways that were important so as to pay attention to the shifting roles that animals have when their place is ambivalent as sacred life. Yet, reading it during May 2020, the communal aspect of the piece comes at the forefront, highlighting the now extremely limited ways in which we can possibly conceive of a group of people gathered in public to perform collective rituals that involve bodily fluids of humans and animals, and furthermore, the extreme digital scrutiny that animal-humans interactions will now have in the public eye.

Similarly, the reading Sylvia Solakidi’s article, “The Timespace of Crisis on Jan Fabre’s Mount Olympus,”changed substantially. The piece renders a performative account of the experience of watching Fabre’s now famous twenty-four-hour long homage to Greek tragedy. Fabre’s performance became notable because of the radicality in its performers’ physicalities, as well as on the tremendous actions they had to perform on stage. Paying close attention to the physical demands of the piece to both performers and spectators, Solakidi’s text elaborates on the timescale that the spaces in and of the performance represent as it goes on. My first reading of the piece led me to wonder how open this performance and its theatricalities may be to audiences in Singapore, for example, and the extent to which Greek leitmotivs continue to underline how we think theatre around the world. Post-pandemic, the piece becomes a solemn testament to the possibility of sharing a space in durational work.

We cannot forget the dead nor the way we address them. At the time of writing, the pandemic has a toll of approximately 352,000 fatalities worldwide. A significant amount of those have gone without a proper funeral or burial. In the scare of the pandemic, the general policy has been to isolate the ill, which then spend their last days in the scarce company of highly stretched and stressed medical personnel — who, in many cases, are also dying. Mourning has been cancelled, and we are left now with a debt to ourselves and to the departed — a closure debt. In this context, Christopher Danowski’s “Manifesto: Theatre for the Dead” becomes an inspiring piece, as it opens a portal, so to speak, to envision ways in which we can perform to our dead in times like these. Drawing from the traditions of Palo rituals, the piece offers a map of the relationships between the dead and the living, and performs an important journey through that map. If before the pandemic this piece was already a provocation to revise the necropolitics and necroaesthetics in performance, now it is indeed a manifesto to perform for those who succumbed to the pandemic and left this realm amid confusion.

Lastly, just as this issue was being made ready for copy-edit, the editorial team decided that it was only fair to invite short contributions from colleagues working through the reactions to the pandemic at various sites, and that offered Responses to COVID-19, about the pandemic experience as lived by them and in their locales. Juliana Moraes, Heike Roms, Kyoko Iwaki, and Kevin Brown offer sharp thoughts that indeed encourage the conversation to continue, as we will inevitably find ourselves thinking through the pandemic in the foreseeable future.

Opening Knowledge?

It is important to note that it would be unfair to just shoehorn all the pieces in this issue into a pandemic-infused reading. My intention in offering my re-interpretations of the pieces is far from attempting that. Instead, the emphasis that I would like to offer is on how the pandemic has unsettled the perceptual scales through which we think, teach, and make performance. That is to say that as our perceptual system to identify performance and performance research shifted (what they do, and how they do it), we have also been dealing with epistemic ambivalence — Zoom performance is not performance but not not performance, we might say. But the point is not only what Zoom has done to performance: it is also what performance did when public assemblies became illegal, what performance research did when live performance stopped, what performance studies did to open its knowledge in a time of biodigital surveillance. My re-reading of the articles in this issue hints at these questions, and doing so it also attempts to hint at a reflection on open knowledge, and more specifically to the ways in which performance and performance research always exists in relation with, as a cause and a consequence of, the social context in which they appear.

In my re-reading of Jackson’s Social Works in light of the pandemic, the following passage is rather provoking: “de-autonomizing of the artistic event is itself an artful gesture, more and less self-consciously creating an intermedial form that subtly challenges the lines that would demarcate where an art object ends and the world begins” (28). What if we thought of knowledge in these terms, but shift our attention to openness and interoperability? To suggest this, I re-read Miguel Escobar’s “Interoperable Performance Research: Promises and Perils of the Semantic Web” (2016). Escobar makes the argument of a semantic web for performance studies, which in existing would ease the interoperability of data for performance research. I am wary of time here, and will not go on to expand much on Escobar’s argument, but rather encourage you to read his piece. As a pointer, however, and to close of my reflection here, I wish to augment Escobar’s provocation by applying it to how we, given the massive amounts of online content we have produced, could entertain the idea of an interoperable web for performance pedagogy and research as an outcome of the pandemic crisis. After a detailed explanation of the semantic web and how would this manifest in the context of performance studies research, Escobar pivots his point in saying that:

[T]he semantic web can be used to map and link performances simultaneously, according to different broad spectra. […] In other words, the semantic web can be used to link performances according to different perspectives at the same time. The links enable search and retrieve functions but they also allow for a multiplicity of perspectives to be simultaneously represented. The semantic web can enable us to map the complex topology, the edges and nodes of performance’s sophisticated disagreement (Escobar 143; emphasis in original).

When reading Escobar in light of the pandemic’s contingency, however, I am struck by the widening possibilities, especially for performance pedagogies, to open themselves to a vast network of interoperable data and materials that can be assembled and re-assembled in order to deliver classes in multiple ways at the same time. In thinking about the perils of such an “operative system for the field,” Escobar warns that such enterprise potentially means revising much of the infrastructure that shapes and informs the practice of performance studies. And yet, there is something important to consider in light of the shifting perspectives that the pandemic has forced. As Brown also commented in our previous editorial, perhaps it is as important as ever to safeguard digital openness, and doing so, I hope, will lead us towards an ethics of shared data and towards a politics of co-authorship in and of performance study.

Indeed, journals, like GPS, may now have to be-re-evaluated in terms of the various digital infrastructures that are being developed or ramped up to ease life into a new kind of digital governance. How do we sustain a critical attitude towards the very infrastructure that allows us to share, transfer, interpret, and re-interpret knowledge? How do we guarantee that openness towards our students? Could a way to reinvigorate performance studies politics be to start building shared lessons, classes, modules, repositories — a collaborative turn in the field that builds on our pandemic-infused frenzy to connect remotely? That is yet to be seen. In the meantime, we may enjoy the great opening we have to re-read ourselves, both as a society and as individuals at the same time for the intersection between the one and the many is exactly where the virus hit us hardest.

Works Cited

“ATHE 2020 Annual Conference: ATHE Goes Virtual.” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Call for Papers. Accessed 1 June 2020.

Auslander, Philip. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture. Routledge, 1999.

Brown, Kevin. “What’s Your Position.” Global Performance Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, 2018,

—–. “The Performance Network.” Global Performance Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, 2019,

Varela, Miguel Escobar. “Interoperable Performance Research: Promises and Perils of the Semantic Web”. TDR: The Drama Review, vol. 60, no. 3, 2016, pp.136-147.

Jackson, Shannon. Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics. Routledge. 2011.

Theatre, Dance, & Performance Journal Blog. Accessed 1 June 2020.