Headphone Theatre, Podcasts and Radio: A Symposium

deadline for submissions: 
May 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
University of Kent
contact email: 

Headphone Theatre, Podcasts and Radio

A Symposium at the University of Kent on Tuesday 27th June 2017

The last decade has seen a marked increase in performances that utilise headphones as part of the performance, from Rotozaza’s Etiquette – a style of performance for which they coined the term autoteatro – to Complicite’s The Encounter. At the same time, artists and comedians have seized on medium of podcasting to both reach new audiences and experiment with the form. The critical success of Welcome to Night Vale, which has led to successful tours and a novelisation, suggests that there is a great deal of aesthetic potential in podcasting. Finally, there is an increasing interest within academia in audio description, an important tool for making performance accessible to visually impaired audiences, and how it might be integrated more coherently into the dramaturgy of performances.

This one-day symposium will focus on the aesthetics of such work, drawing together researchers and practitioners with an interest in headphone theatre, podcasting and radio drama. We invite abstracts for papers that critically engage with this, with possible topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The phenomenology of headphone theatre and podcasts
  • The aesthetics of access and audio description
  • Radio comedy and podcasts
  • Cognitive approaches to theatre aurality
  • The democratic nature of podcasting.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a brief biography, to s.r.may@kent.ac.uk by Tuesday 30th May 2017.

Confirmed speakers for this event include Dr. Lynne Kendrick (RCSSD), Dr. Louise Fryer (UCL), Rimini Protocol, Dr. Rosie Klich (Kent), Farokh Soltani (RCSSD) and Dr. Oliver Double (Kent).

This event is supported by the Centre for Cognition and Kinesthetics and the Centre for Popular and Comic Performance at the University of Kent.