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Keynote speakers

Paul Allain

Paul Allain is Professor of Theatre and Performance and currently Associate Dean of research and innovation at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. Professor Paul Allain will contribute to the conference by stimulating the discussions on scientific relevance of theatre and performance research in the frame of his university experience. Today’s scholars are encouraged and forced to become increasingly depending on external funding. Which are the dilemmas for the scholars? Paul Allain will accentuate discussions on the need to actualize the impact of published research in the field of Theatre and Performance Studies.

Paul Allain collaborated with the Gardzienice Theatre Association from 1989 to 1993 and published the book Gardzienice: Polish Theatre in Transition (1997). He co-edited the Cambridge Companion to Chekhov (2000) and his book The Art of Stillness: The Theatre Practice of Tadashi Suzuki was published by Methuen (2002; second revised and expanded edition with DVD 2009) and Palgrave Macmillan, USA (2003). Routledge published his Companion to Theatre and Performance, co-written with Jen Harvie in 2006, second edition 2014.


Imanuel Schipper

Imanuel Schipper is a lecturer and researcher at different universities and art academies in Germany and Switzerland. He also works as a dramaturg for the well-known German Performance group, Rimini Protokoll with whom, over many years, he has developed a contemporary way of documentary theatre as intervention, as political think tanks. Currently he is the dramaturg for „ State 1-4“ a tetralogy on postdemocratic phenomenas, commissioned by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and four major theatres in Germany and Switzerland. 

Imanuel Schipper works on the interface between scientific research, teaching, and artistic practice. He works to analyse such terms as “theatricality“, “performativity“, “dramaturgy“, “staging“,  “reception“ and “mediality“ – coming from the theatre studies – beyond the boundaries of the theatre, for example in design, urban design, scenography and curation. With Imanuel Schipper’s research practice these key notions are highly relevant to the theme of RE-THINK at our conference, as they are constantly challenged in a rapidly changing world.

Imanuel Schipper has been head of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funded research projects „Re/Occupation. Designing Public Spheres in Urban Space by Theatrical Interventions“ and “Longing for Authenticity. A Critical Analysis of the Term and the Actual Practice in the Context of Contemporary Staging“. Currently he is on the board of directors in the research conference organization Performance Studies international and finishing his PhD on „Relational Dramaturges" at Leuphana University Lüneburg. 

Recent Publication: Performing the Digital - Performativity and Performance Studies in Digital Cultures (2016).


Anneli Saro

Anneli Saro is Professor of Theatre Research and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Tartu (Estonia). In 2010-2014, she was working as a Lecturer of Estonian Culture at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Saro has been a convener of the international working groups Project on European Theatre Systems (2004-2008) and Theatrical Event (2011-2017). She has been active as the Editor-in-Chief of Nordic Theatre Studies (2013-2015) and as a member of the executive committee of the International Federation for Theatre Research (2007-2015).

Saro has published articles on Estonian theatre history and system, performance theory and audience research. She has edited several books, amongst others “Global Changes - Local Stages. How Theatre Functions in Smaller European Countries“ (2009, with Hans van Maanen and Andreas Kotte) and “Eesti teatriteaduse perspektiivid” (2013). Her new book “101 Eesti teatrisündmust” will be published in 2017.