Why does the theatre audience have to just view performances?

The theatre audience does not have to just view performances. The audience can also perform with trained actors in the performances. Once I did not merely sit and view a performance. From beginning to the end, I performed in the performance, Våld & pedagogik (Violence & Learning), based on Bertolt Brecht’s Die Maßnahme (The Measures Taken), produced by Swedish theater artists in Oxford, England in June 2016.

This performance reminded me of Andrzej Wirth’s notion: “The definition of theatre has changed.”

David Barnett, who was among the performers, argues: “From what seemed the majority of the audience, a production of Die Maßnahme would have been preferable.” For me, Violence & Learning was not “an admirable failure.” To me, it was an exemplary theatrical attempt to challenge not only the position of the theatre audience in the performance but also the conventional ways of making theatre.

I have also seen a hybrid production of Die Maßnahme written by Bertolt Brecht and Mauser written by Heiner Müller, directed by Frank Castorf in Berlin, Germany.

I have valued both the performance and the production of Die Maßnahme. I would not prefer one more than the other.

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