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The 24th annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) invites proposals to our 2016 conference: Staging Realities .

FOOT 2016 will engage in discussions of performance and how it is conceived of on stage, in everyday life, and within the digital world. Prompted by the recent resurgence of documentary, verbatim, site-specific, and other forms of theatre that make use of aspects of the real in their frame or content, as well as the increased cultural capital assigned to the “upsurges of the real” in performance, this year's conference aims to explore the liminal space between reality and artifice: a space that troubles the easy division of fiction and fact, and is increasingly utilized by today’s most provocative theatre.

The theme of FOOT 2016, Staging Reality, speaks to the blending of reality and artifice: a blurring that has been receiving a great deal of academic attention in recent years, both in Canada and abroad. This blurring breaks down distinctions between the roles of audience, critic, artist, activist, and academic, as the opinions of “real people” are increasingly sought out by theatre makers, and artists increasingly turn their focus to the “real world” effect of their work.

FOOT 2016 invites proposals of papers, performances, staged readings, short films and workshops from scholars, artists, and activists who want to explore the blurring of theatricality and reality. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Applied and community based theatre
  • Staging current events
  • Memorials and historical re-enactments
  • Theatre as/theatricality of protest and activism
  • Site-specific performance
  • Performance personas in a mediatized world
  • The ethics of representing real people and events
  • Non-actor performers
  • Man on the street criticism and the “everyman” figure
  • The use of cognitive science/affect in theatre and performance
  • Realness as social capital/the draw of reality claims
  • The reality of being an artist: theatre and economics
  • Theatre/performance and “real-world” impact
  • Virtual realities and digital performance
  • Reality T.V., live broadcasting, simul-casting
  • Documentary film

In recognition and celebration of the increasingly permeable boundaries between reality and performance, FOOT 2016 is especially interested in non-traditional proposals that blend art and academia, activism and criticism, or theory and practice.

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