Nowadays, more and more artists invite the audience to take an active part in artistic projects.

Audience not allowed

Nowadays, more and more artists invite the audience to take an active part in artistic projects.

Whether directly or prepared, through interviews or flashmobs, these citizens, communities or groups of individuals overstep, during one piece, the assumed passivity of the classical spectator. The emancipation of the audience has become a predominant issue in contemporary and often urban performance practices.

Roger Bernat’s recent works almost systematically question formats, protocols and prejudices of participatory, interactive and immersive theatre.

The workshop will present the poetics signifiers of Bernat’s work, analyse the poetics genealogy of participatory theatre, the reasons which have made it a genre in itself over the last decade, and finally, it will explore the ideological motivations of its evolution.

We will try to understand the relationship of this genre made by/for the audience with historical performance, taking into account notions of truth, immediacy and spontaneity. We will see that these new interactive formats are in many ways the result of the metamorphosis that these concepts suffered under the pressure of the post-modern paradigm, thus representing a direct expression of what some theorists have called the "guilt" of culture, or even a phenomenon of post-culture.

We will analyse to what extent the direct action of the audience adopted by this practice allows a whimsical interactivity belonging to the post- modern ideology. We will see at what conditions and at what cost is the extra-territoriality of the « new » spectator made possible and if its poetic mobilization implies a real emancipation, or if the result of this new challenge is rather to reposition the spectator as the main actor on the cultural stage as performance of discourse.

Finally we will see if, as it has been alleged, participation is about sabotaging theatre rules or rather if it transforms them.

Roger Bernat will be at kunstenfestivaldesarts with the performance "Numax-Fagor-plus" from 16 to 23 May2014. More info here.

The workshop "Audience not Allowed" is organised in collaboration with kunstenfestivaldesarts.


Each session will be divided into two parts: Roger Bernat will start talking about his participative performances, he will then be followed by Roberto Fratini who will put his arguments into pieces. The aim is to understand the role he wanted to play in the art of mobilizing the spectators lead by advanced capitalism.

Day 1: Origins of participation. Symbolic forms of mobilisation.
Day 2: Participation and civilisation of discourse
Day 3: Birth of immersive theatre according to the mystique of performance
Day 4: Paradox, limits, traps and delirium of participation

Roger Bernat and Roberto Fratini

Roger Bernat is one of the main national figures in the contemporary scenic arts in Spain. Unfinished courses in painting and architecture. Winner of the 1996 Institut del Teatre Extraordinary Award. In 2008 he began to create pieces in which the audience takes over and becomes centre stage. “Spectators enter a setup that invites them to obey or conspire and, in any case, to pay with their own body and commit themselves wholeheartedly”. His shows include "Public Domain" (2008), "Purely Coincidental" (2009), "The Rite of Spring" (2010), "Please Continue: Hamlet" (2011), "Pending Vote" (2012), "RE–presentation" (2013) and "Desplazamiento del Palacio de La Moneda" (2014) which have been performed in over twenty countries. In 2009 he published with I.Duarte, "Querido Público, El espectador ante la participación: jugadores, usuarios, prosumers y fans". Ed. CENDEAC

Roberto Fratini, was born in Milan in 1972. Poet, director and dramaturg, he has worked with several companies as dramaturg, among others: the Caterina Sagna Dance Company (La Signora, Petites Soeurs – recognised with a SFDA award, Rélation Publique, Heil Tanz, Basso Ostinato –  Named production of the year by the la Association des Critiques de Danse), Cie. Inesperada, Germana Civera, Lanónima Imperial, Juan Carlos García, Silvano Voltolina, General Elèctrica, Roger Bernat.... He has lectured on dramaturgy and philosophy of dance at many European festivals and universities, and he is currently a Theory lecturer at the Barcelona CSD. His poems, "Nodo Parlato", were published in 2001. His book  "A Contracuento. La Danza y las derivas del narrar" (Cuerpo de Letra) was published in 2012.