Society for Theatre Research – Spring Day

9.5.2016 University of Tampere

Present day theatre is facing challenges both as an art form and as an institution. Different forms of the popular, related to for example the expanding media world and the entertainment industry, are competing of the interest and the time of potential theatre audiences today. The theatrical modes of storytelling and narration are challenged at least in two different ways.

On one hand, for more than a century, already, forms of popular entertainment have pushed theatre art to sharpen its own ways of artistic expression. On the other hand, this competition for audiences has helped to develop mediated dramatic forms which nowadays provide high quality alternatives for the tradition that used to be experienced primarily as a shared theatrical event bound to a certain time and place.

Different dimensions of the social and societal aspects of theatre provide the most important potential for a time-bound theatre experience. But how can theatre reflect or affect its society if drama gets more and more intertwined with the entertainment business? Why does the popular become the language of the societal or political in theatre? How do the procedures of production affect the outlines / structures of theatre and drama?

We invite theatre, dance, media, art and culture researchers and everyone interested to discuss the dimensions of the popular and the societal in theatre, drama and the performance.


You can send your abstract (max. 200 words) by 8.4.2016 to following addresses:

pentti.paavolainen[at] and hanna.suutela[at]


Papers’ length should be about 20-30 minutes, and there is also room reserved for discussion (10-15 min). Also papers in Swedish can be offered.


Pentti Paavolainen                                                                      Hanna Suutela

Docent (University of Helsinki), PhD                                            Professor, PhD

Chairman Theatre Research Society                                          University of Tampere