Reframing Immersive Theatre

The Politics and Pragmatics of Participatory Performance

  • James Frieze

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Participant as Co-designer: Critical Reflections

  3. Facilitating Immersive Performance: Ethics and Practicalities

  4. Where Material Meets Magic: Theories, Histories, and Myths of Immersive Participation

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 317-345

About this book


This diverse collection of essays and testimonies challenges critical orthodoxies about the twenty-first century boom in immersive theatre and performance. A culturally and institutionally eclectic range of producers and critics comprehensively reconsider the term ‘immersive’ and the practices it has been used to describe. Applying ecological, phenomenological and political ideas to both renowned and lesser-known performances, contributing scholars and artists offers fresh ideas on the ethics and practicalities of participatory performance. These ideas interrogate claims that have frequently been made by producers and by critics that participatory performance extends engagement. These claims are interrogated across nine dimensions of engagement: bodily, technological, spatial, temporal, spiritual, performative, pedagogical, textual, social. Enquiry is focussed along the following seams of analysis: the participant as co-designer; the challenges facing the facilitator of immersive/participatory performance; the challenges facing the critic of immersive/participatory performance; how and why immersion troubles boundaries between the material and the magical.


immersive theatre intermedial theatre contemporary theatre site-specific theatre experimental performance audience interaction audience participation audience experience experience economy immersive engagement commodified experience Punchdrunk The Drowned Man Sleep No More Ockham's Razor phantasmagoria possible worlds theory somatic practices fourth wall ethics participation performance philosophy politics theatre

Editors and affiliations

  • James Frieze
    • 1
  1. 1.Liverpool Screen SchoolLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information