Digital Theatre

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2PS2064

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon

Course Coordinator and Team: Deepan Sivaraman & Abhilash Pillai.

Email of course coordinator: deepan[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: No prior knowledge assumed.

Course Objectives/Description:

Digital Theatre is a practice based course that explores the boundaries of theatre making and design, focusing on contemporary ideas, innovations and experimentation. It will be looking into the recent history of theatre of scenography especially the kind of language that evolved in the era of digital culture, advance technologies and new media.

The aim of this course is to understand the language of new media theatre both in the terms of theoretical and practical implications. It allows the students to experiment with digital technology and live performance closely looking at how virtual space and real space overlap each other in the making of a visual narrative. Through a series of exercises, the process of producing performative texts using personal history and artistic material as source is taught to the students. Regarding self as the material, some notions of the self-being slowly to shift towards the concept of the subject. As opposed to the notion of the individual self with agency and control over itself, the term “subject” suggests an “I” that is simultaneously a subject to itself within its own experience. This is always subjected to forces both outside the self, such as social and environmental forces, and within itself, the works of the unconsciousness. For an empiricist and relativist age, an age which has come to consider value an evolving thing depending upon the changing individual and social requirements of the historical process. The perception of the self is “not autonomous, unified or stable, but rather an unfixed and fragmented product of various social and historical forces.” It is fundamental to the emergence of modernist aesthetics.

Course Outcomes:

  • Learn the language of new media theatre both in the terms of theoretical and practical implications.
  • Learn the aesthetics of weaving the virtual images with real images of live actions.
  • Learn how to use technology of making digital theatre.
  • Learn the language of theatre of scenography.
  • Learn how to collaborate with fellow artists.
  • Learn how to reflect upon the performance process through writing.


Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Week 1-2

Introduction to scenography

Week 3-4

Understanding digital theatre

Week 5-6

Virtual space in new media performances.

Week 7-8

Politics of performance spaces

Week 9-10

Rethinking space and place in 21st century performance

Week 10-14

During the last four weeks of the course students will be devising a theatre performance based on a film directed by the course leader.

Assessment Details with weights:

Students will be assessed for their overall understanding of the course and their contribution towards performances, group discussions and knowledge sharing. Attending weekly lectures and presentations are vital and any absence may affect the grades.

  • Class room presentations (10%)
  • Home assignments (20%)
  • Participation in the performances (30%)
  • End Term paper (40%)

*All students must participate in all course assessments to obtain a passing course grade.

Reading List:

  • Aronosn, A., 2015. Looking into the Abbeys- Essays on Scenography, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press
  • Bablet, D. and Bablet, M.L., 1982. Adolphe Appia 1862-1928: actor - space - light. London: John Calder.
  • Bachelard, G. 1994. The Poetics of Space, trans. M. Jolas. Boston: Beacon Press
  • Collins, J. and Nisbet, A., 2010. Theatre and performance Design- A Reader in Scenography, London: Routledge
  • Condee, F. W., 1995. Theatrical Space, Maryland: Scarecrow Press.
  • Foucault, M. and Miskowiec, J. 1986. Of Other Spaces,
  • Hunter, V., 2005. Embodying the Site: the here and now in site-specific dance performance, New Theatre Quarterly 21(4), pp. 367-81
  • Kantor, T., 1993. A Journey Through Other Spaces: Essays and Manifestos, 1944-1990, California: University of California Press.
  • Kaye, N., 2000. Site- Specific Art: Performance, place and documentation. London: Routledge
  • Massey, B. D., 1994. Space, Place and Gender, Minniapolis: University of Minnesota Press
  • Massey, B. D., 2005. For Space, London: Sage Publications.
  • McAuley, G., 1999. Space in Performance: Making meaning in the theatre. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press
  • Panchal, G., 1984. Koothambalam & Koodiyattom, New Delhi: Sangeetha Nadaka Academy.
  • Ranciere, J., 2009. The Emancipated Spectator , London: Verso Books
  • traditions of performance, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publications.
  • Rugg, J., 2010. Exploring Site Specific – Issues of Space and Internationalism. New York: I. B. Tauris & Co Ltd
  • Giannachi, G., 2004. Virtual Theatre an Introduction. New York: Routledge
  • Giannachi, G., 2007. The Politics of New Media Theatre. New York: Routledge
  • Pichel, I. 1925. Modern Theatres, Harcourt Brace: New York
  • Guthrie, T., 1964. Argument for the stage, World Theatre XIII: 1&2 (Spring and Summer)