The Show Must Go ON/OFF-line: Digital Audience

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The Show Must Go ON/OFF-line: Digital Audience
"Green Thursdays" series of international online discussions - Episode V.

28.1. 15-17:00 CET

Participants in discussion:

  • Michal Lázňovský / Czech Republic, Head of Production Department of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts
  • Bogna Kietlińska / Poland, Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Warsaw
  • Jonathan Goodacre / UK, The Audience Agency
  • Achim Müller / Germany, Institut für Kultur und Medienwirtschaft and Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler


Martina Pecková Černá / CZ, Department of International Cooperation, ATI and Project Manager of the European ASSET project focused on audience research

The closure of theatres, dance stages, cultural centres and public spaces for live art productions during the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a massive migration of live art productions to digital platforms. How does the viewer react to this selection? What do we know about theatrical audiences of the pre-covid era that has somehow changed following the rerouting of theatrical, dance or new circus productions to the online environment? Has this shift brought about a drop in the number of viewers, who would rather run away from their screens to the woods, or is it, on the contrary, a tool for audience development, for example in the digitally literate youth segment? What data is available about the "digital audience"? How can one monitor and evaluate the behaviour of the digital viewer, and how do these methods differ from marketing analyses in the day-to-day running of cultural organizations? These questions and those you ask during the next webinar in the series Green Thursday: Show must go ON/OFF-line will be answered by guests from the Czech Republic, Poland, Great Britain and Germany.

The online "Green Thursdays" discussion with guests from the ranks of theatre and dance artists, curators, cultural managers and theorists from the Czech Republic and abroad reflects the sensitivity and response of the field of performing arts to current social issues. The main topic is the adaptation of theatre, dance and the new circus to the virtual environment as a result of epidemic-prevention measures and issues related to the sustainability of the quality of life of contemporary civilization and the performing arts. Although it would seem that the critical need for social change under discussion in the areas of ecology, economics, politics and culture has been overshadowed in recent months by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, in the performing arts, concerns are beginning to spread about the sustainability of the field itself, fuelled by the chaos arising from various rules aimed at social distancing, the deteriorating economic situation and the unpredictable behaviour of audiences. The defensive reaction is the rapid adaptation of theatre and dance creations to the virtual environment. Is this hybrid existence in real as well as virtual space-time a blind alley for a field that is based on live contact with the audience, or does it open up new possibilities and worlds for them? Will viewers stay at home forever? How are artists, cultural event organizers, public support providers and art educational institutions responding to this crisis? How are they orienting themselves, what do they believe in and what are they pursuing? How do they communicate? Together with our guests, we map the embryonic strategies of the performing arts in adapting to the global paradigm shift.

The series i s organised by ATI's International Cooperation Department as part of its Promotion of Czech Performing Arts Abroad program and in cooperation with partners from the European project Create to Connect -> Create to Impact and the network Performing Arts Central Europe (PACE.V4). The webinars are held in English in the Zoom platform every fourth Thursday of the month. During the discussion meetings, viewers have the opportunity to ask the guests questions. Playbacks of the meetings are subsequently available on the YouTube channel jsmeIDU.

The meetings take place on the ZOOM platform; it is not necessary to download the app in advance.

Webinar login link

After filling in the registration form, you will receive an e-mail with a link to the webinar.

If possible, register 15 minutes before the start of the event so as not to be delayed by the registration procedure.

The webinar is held in English.

Contact person: Barbora Comer (

Speakers’ bios:

Lázňovský graduated from the Department of Production at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts, in the period 2001-2017 he worked as the director of its DISK Theatre and since 2008 he has headed the Department of Production there. His research focuses on strategic and project management in the field of performing arts. is involved in various research projects, and since 2017 has been a member of the Board of Directors of ENCATC - European Network on Cultural Management and Policy.

Bogna Kietlińska graduated from the University of Warsaw, where she still works as a tutor at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences. In her doctoral thesis, she dealt with the sociological analysis of street art. She is a member of the Polish and International Sociological Association. She is currently drafting for the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute the study Theatre during the Coronavirus Epidemic, the results of which will be presented in the webinar.

Jonathan Goodacre is a senior analyst at The Audience Agency in London. Its goal is to support cultural organizations in gaining a deeper understanding of the needs of their current and potential audiences. One of the tools the agency has developed to analyse and break down audiences and to create audience development plans is The Audience Finder.

Achim Müller is focused on consulting activities for cultural projects and organizations in the area of management, strategic planning and social media. Up to 2017, he headed the Audience Development Centre at Freie Universität Berlin. He is currently the head of research and projects at the Berlin Institute for Culture and the Media Industry and lectures on cultural and media management at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.