Call for Papers: International symposium Community works! – Contemporary Theatre Models

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Termin: – 31. 12. 2019
International symposium

Community works! – Contemporary Theatre Models

4 to 6 June 2020, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Call for papers

In June of 2020, the Slovenian Theatre Institute, Glej Theatre, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of the University of Ljubljana and Amfiteater – Journal of Performing Arts Theory will hold a symposium dedicated to the questions of new production models in contemporary theatre. The symposium is inspired by the upcoming 50th anniversary of Glej Theatre from Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Glej Theatre is the oldest non-institutionalised theatre in Slovenia (as well as in former Yugoslavia) that prides itself with cutting edge performances, the (re)-invention of intriguing production modes, of non-hierarchical theatre practice that is based on collective and socially engaged work. On the basis of the five decades of its operation we wish to explore the possibilities of contemporary theatre in relation to the concept of theatre collective creation and different forms which this might take.

As the social and political climate in Europe, and even more so in its peripheries, are growing more and more intense, and social divisions in society are bigger than ever, the answer to it in art has been not just to try to reveal the oppression of many different targeted communities, but also to actively step into the situation. What sort of role in building up communities can contemporary theatre have? Is this even its purpose? How do new political and economic situations affect production models in contemporary theatre?

We are welcoming theorists, scholars, dramaturgs, practitioners, researchers, philosophers, sociologists etc. to send their proposals by 31 December 2019 to the address

Positively reviewed and selected papers will be published in the upcoming edition of the Amfiteater journal.

The working language of the symposium will be English. Simultaneous translation will not be provided. In accordance with Article 25 of the Public Use of the Slovene Language Act, Slovene language will be provided on the level of public announcements.


The symposium will focus on three main topics.

1. Collectives, communities and non-hierarchical modes of creation

Within this topic, the symposium will research the formation and transformations of non-hierarchical theatre collectives, or, in the words of one of the founders of Glej Theatre, Dušan Jovanović, theatre tribes. How do they relate to changing production resources, economic crises and in which way are they the result of revolutionising theatre practices?

Regarding this topic, we will focus on the following questions:

• How can we think (as a reaction to the hierarchical structure of repertory theatres or otherwise) the creation of different modes of non-hierarchical as part of creating the performances, artistic direction of the theatre and the formation of temporary collectives with emancipated audiences?

• What are the methodologies and concepts behind these new modes of production? What are its challenges and why is it relevant today?

• How did this model of devised and collaborative theatre change, develop and deconstruct within the structures of NGOs and public institutions throughout history?


2. The history and contemporary position of non-institutional theatre in relation to institutions

Non-institutional theatre, at least in Slovenia, with Glej as one of its examples, has traditionally been the space of daring experiments, sharp social critique, a safe space for marginal topics and populations. With institutionalised theatre turning more and more towards similar topics and aesthetic approaches, we wish to address a question: where is the space of non-institutional theatre today?

Regarding this topic, we will focus on the following questions:

• What is the division between addressing social and political topics in theatre vs. creating new models of production that corresponds with critique?

• With the above-mentioned recuperation of the field of non-institutional, what has happened to the social and theatrical perception of non-institutional theatre?

• How has the position of non-institutional theatres in the structure of theatre and social hierarchies changed throughout the last five decades?

• Is the role of non-institutionalised theatre still to produce upcoming artists or to search for new modes of art production? Is this even a question?

• Which of the production and aesthetic models, tested in non-institutionalised theatre, have broken through to wider audiences or institutions?


3. A decade of revolutions – New theatrical forms, fresh approaches to audience building and the challenges of participatory art

Considering the trend of hyperproduction in the scenic arts, it is also necessary to review the most recent decade of the work in non-institutionalised theatres.

• How is non-institutionalised theatre dealing with the care for underprivileged groups and audience development?

• How do international and other collaboration of non-institutionalised theatre affect their abilities to have impact with their art?

• What is the role of new programme elements (work with targeted populations, audience building, etc.) that are not primarily intended for a professional theatre audience?

• What are the achievements of participatory audience building and what are its challenges?

• What is the connection between diminishing funding and collaborating in European projects? What do these collaborations bring to non-institutionalised theatre and the local theatre scene?

• What are the core shifts in the repertoires of the past decade? What new approaches in contemporary theatre have shifted the course and future of its development in the last ten years and what are some of the most exciting upcoming approaches?


We will provide participating colleagues with food and free entry to the artistic programme of the conference. We have a small amount of funding opportunities to help with your costs, available upon request and by the decision of the organisational board. The symposium will be held at the Slovenian Theatre Institute and Glej Theatre in Ljubljana from 4 to 6 June 2020.

All participants of the symposium will receive an appropriate certificate of participation in the symposium.

Please submit your paper’s title and abstract (up to 250 words) and a short CV in English to, by 31 December 2019. Write us with any additional questions.

We will respond by 15 January with information regarding the symposium and the Amfiteater issue.


Head of symposium: Gašper Troha
Preparatory committee: Amadea Karin Ilic, Primož Jesenko, Andreja Kopač, Jure Novak, Tjaša Pureber, Inga Remeta, Tomaž Toporišič, Gašper Troha, Mojca Jan Zoran


Slovenian Theatre Institute (SLOGI)
Mestni trg 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
T +386 1 241 58 00


The Slovenian Theatre Institute (SLOGI) is a national public institution founded in 2014 as the legal successor of the National Theatre Museum of Slovenia, founded in 1952. The Institute aims at the continued evolution of theatre culture at the national level and to raise the awareness of the role and importance of theatre in the development of society and individuals. The Institute is engaged in collecting, preserving, documenting, researching, examining, interpreting, promoting and presenting Slovenian theatre culture, of its heritage and as contemporary theatre arts, both at the national and international levels.

Glej Theatre is the oldest independent theatre in Slovenia, established in 1970 as a space to create and explore art space for theatre practices that originate from the needs of the environment, but as experimental practices lack sufficient infrastructural support for its professional realisation. Glej has a rich history of experimental theatrical practices and has developed into contemporary cutting-edge performance theatre, experimenting with non-hierarchical forms of organising art production.

The Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of the University of Ljubljana performs educational, artistic and research work in the fields of theatre, radio, film and television. From its founding in 1945 to 1975, it operated as an independent higher education institution with a rector, and then became a member of the University of Ljubljana.

Amfiteater – Journal of Performing Arts Theory, is a scientific journal that publishes original articles on performing arts with a broad spectrum from dramatic theatre, drama, dance, performance and hybrid art forms. Authors can analyse the forms and content of artwork and art phenomena from the field of performing arts, their history, their present, and their future, as well as their relationship to other art forms and the broader (social, cultural, political…) context.







The symposium is organized in cooperation with the University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, within the framework of the Theatre and Interart Research programme (project No. P6-0376), co-financed by the Slovenian Research Agency from the state budget.