Alone in the theatre: The phenomenon of a performance for a single spectator
Yu. A. Kleiman
Russian State Institute of Performing Arts (Russia, St. Petersburg), National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia, Moscow)
Keywords: theatre for a single spectator, digital theatre, festival “The Access Point”, Gian Maria Tosatti, Elina Kulikova, “nemhat”, Ilya Moschitsky, Ivan Kurkin, participatory theatre, theatre of objects, ins
Abstract: The situation when the viewer finds himself alone with the performer or with another kind of actor (performative space, technological object, etc.) is used more and more frequently in unconventional theatrical projects. The conditions of the game vary, but the principle of the spectator’s loneliness obviously influences the theatrical plot. What’s going on with the plot? What happens to the viewer when he is fully responsible for the result of the performance? The article examines performances for a single spectator, created in the field of installation theater and theater of objects, where the situation of a sole viewer intensifies the viewer’s experience without depriving him of subjectivity. Participatory productions, where a single spectator comes into close contact with the performer, are also analyzed in detail. In Russia, the spread of such experiences is associated with the pandemic that provoked the development of digital theater. The performances, establishing one-on-one contact with the audience, worked with a situation of permanent involvement outside a real communication, with a situation of anxiety and loneliness. Possessing a therapeutic value, such projects also inevitably objectify the viewer, since in an extremely concentrated situation of the absence of someone other than the performer and the viewer, he is deprived of the opportunity to control the gaze directed at him from the outside.
To cite this article: Kleiman, Yu. A. (2022). Alone in the theatre: The phenomenon of a performance for a single spectator. Shagi/Steps, 8(1), 78–89. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-1-78-89.