Theatre and pandemic

Theatre and pandemic: research in progress

Within IRCL, the need to work on the intersection of theatre and pandemic emerged during the first weeks of March 2020, in response to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and its social, cultural, and artistic impact. This ongoing work belongs to an existing research programme on the place of the theatre, especially William Shakespeare’s, in our contemporary world – itself part of a wider area of research for IRCL, ‘Field 3: The contemporary global dynamics of heritage’.

Contribution by Florence March and Janice Valls-Russell to a CNRS research report 

Facing the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic: Report on the orientations and modes of research in the humanities and social sciences Coordinated by Marie Gaille and Philippe Terral (2020)


Peter J. Smith, Janice Valls-Russell, and Daniel Yabut (eds), ‘Shakespeare under global lockdown’, Cahiers Élisabéthains, 103 (November 2020), pp. 101–206.

This special section of Cahiers Élisabéthains was conceived and coordinated during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. 37 contributors from 14 countries were invited to explore new ways of writing about Shakespeare productions: lockdown reviewing. In chronicling a diverse cross-section of performances, the authors shared their thoughts on the status of the viewer, the conventions of spectating, and the aesthetic and affective responses to online viewing. The collection was conceived both as an archival record of witnesses sharing immediate individual and collective experiences and as a critical tool. The introduction contextualised these experiences: it considered the challenges posed by the enforced closure of venues for the future of live performance and reflected on the different ways of experiencing theatre, as both artists and spectators. PJ Smith, J Valls-Russell, and D Yabut, ‘Shakespeare under global lockdown: introduction’, Cahiers Élisabéthains, 103 (November 2020), pp. 101–11. 

PJ Smith, J Valls-Russell et D Yabut, « Shakespeare under global lockdown : introduction », Cahiers Élisabéthains n° 103 (novembre 2020), pp. 101-111