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Fact and Fiction: The Audience’s Role in Western and Eastern Performances

Friday 20 May 2016
Leiden University, University Library
Witte Singel 27
Vossius conference room


In Eastern as well as Western culture we find a wide range of performances that play with the boundaries between stage and audience. Within these performances, the audience plays an active role. The audience can be an essential part of the performance, it can interfere with it or even contribute to shaping the boundaries between fact and fiction. In Iran, for example, audience participation has sometimes taken a violent turn, when emotional audience members, during the performance of a passion play, attacked the antagonist in order to show their own loyalties, and actors had to assure the audience that they are only presenting a semblance and that there is a difference between fact and fiction.

In this one-day-symposium scholars from different disciplines will discuss the active role of the audience: How does the audience contribute to the performance, and what is the audience’s role within the process of (re-)organizing the boundaries between the world of the stage and the world of the audience?


09:00-09:30: coffee / tea

09:30-10:00: Introduction

10:00-10:45: Rokus de Groot: 'Composing’ the listener'

10:45-11:00: coffee/tea

11:00- 11:45: Zoe Ghyselinck: ’Das Theater glich einem Irrenhause’. (Re-)Presentations of a ‘real’ and ‘ideal’ audience in metatheatrical reflections in Schiller's Die Räuber and E.T.A. Hoffmann's Seltsame Leiden eines Theaterdirektors

11:45-12:30: Geert Warnar: 'Fact and fiction or presence and performance? The case of Medieval Dutch Dialogues'

12:30-14:00: lunch 

14:00-14:45: Asghar Seyed Gohrab: 'Bearing Rapture and Sorrow: The Audience’s Role in Persian Passion Plays'

14:45-15:00: coffee/tea

15:00-15:45: Babette Hellemans: 'In Search of Lost Realism: Medieval Time and Representations of the Passion in Theatre and Art'

15:45-16:00: coffee/tea

16:00-16:45: Saskia Kersenboom: “Tasting the mimetic performance”, the actor-audience dynamics and interaction, as the joint creation of (the Indian aesthetical concept of) RASA

17:00-18:00: drinks

18:00- dinner speakers

Organizers: Antje Wessels (Latin Literature), Asghar Seyed-Gohrab (Persian & Iranian Studies), Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society / Institute for Area Studies

Attendants are required to pay a fee of € 15,00. This fee includes coffee/tea and lunch.
This symposium is free for students, but they should pay a fee if they wish to make use of the lunch arrangement.
Bank information
Rabo Bank
Account number 1020.54.266
Leiden University / Faculty of Humanities
PO Box 9515, 2300 RA  Leiden
IBAN  NL74RABO0102054266
Please mention: 'SAPno. 1550003050'

For registration and further information please contact Asghar Seyed-Gohrab: A.A.Seyed-Gohrab@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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