Research groups


What is THEA?

The Theatricality and Reality Association Working Group (THEA) wants to bundle the scientific and artistic research expertise in theater and performance studies within the Brussels University Association and explicitly seeks to bridge the gap between artistic practice, artistic research and scientific research in the theatre, performance and theatricality fields. Both contemporary artistic practices as well as historical forms of theatricality are covered within this framework. The former VUB working group on political theatre and theatre education acts as an important source of inspiration.

 The central line of research within this group is formed by the tension between theatricality (the research object is thus wider than theatre in the strict sense) and reality. The research profile of this working group is therefore emphatically contextual: how to structure a (cultural-historical) context theater practice and how that practice can make changes in the surrounding reality through representation to make it conceivable and questionable?

Special points of interest

Particular attention within this tension is attributed to following points:

1. The tension between performance and documentary practices

2. Theatricality and urban reality

3. Intermedial representations of the tension between theatricality and reality, both within a historical and a contemporary context. A more concrete profile will lead to research on the following topics:

– Truthfulness and authenticity as an artistic strategy and as a cultural code.

– Social and artistic practice

– Theatricality, urbanisation and urban culture

– Political and historical theatricality

– Theatrical representation of violence

– Documentary strategies and intermedial depiction

– Theatre and ethnography, theatricality and post colonial depiction

– Theatricality and globalisation.


– The World of the Monkey. Towards an archeology of baroque culture. Doctorate in the Arts. BOAB research project. Doctorandus: Pol Dehert. Supervisors: Rudolf Desmet, Karel Vanhaesebrouck

– Hotel Europa. An artistic and cultural-historical research into the processing of the ‘Europe’ concept in the Flemish (stage)literature from 1893. Doctorate in the Arts. Funding BOAB Fund. Doctorandus: Ivo Kuyl. Supervisors: Charles Vanhaesebrouck, Eric Corijn, Geert Opsomer.

– The same old road or the depiction of the memory. The (analogue) home video as an artistic strategy. Doctorate in the Arts. Funding RITS Aca resources. Doctorandus: Maurice Wouters. Supervisors: Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Klaas Tindemans, Geert Opsomer.

– Fantasyscape. Otaku Strategies for the Artist. Doctorate in the Arts. Doctorandus: Maurits Wouters. Supervisors: Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Klaas Tindemans, Geert Opsomer.

– The paradigm of collective creation in the theatre in Dutch-speaking Belgium and the Netherlands. Doctorate in Literature. Researcher: Esther Gouarné. Supervisors: Christian Biet, Karel Vanhaesebrouck

– Screening the City. A cinematographic archeology of the city of Brussels. Doctorate in the Arts. Funding RITS Aca resources. Doctorandus: Peter Van Goethem. Supervisors: Dieter Lesage, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Peter Krüger.

– The Peace Treaty Project. Doctorate in the Arts. Funding RITS Aca resources. Doctorandus: Ruud Gielens. Supervisors: Karel Vanhaesebrouck, N.N.

– Hotel Medusa as a Laboratory. Research on ‘Near Documentary’. Doctorate in the Arts. Funding RITS Aca resources. Doctorandus: Tim De Keersmaeker. Supervisors: Klaas Tindemans, John Akomfra

– Qualitative research on the artistic methodologies within the socio-artistic practice. Funding: Ministry of Culture. Collaboration with Centre for Cultural Policy (Ghent University).


22-28 March 2013: (Pantagleize)

 25 April: Internal PhD Seminar.


Johan Callens (VUB/TALK)

Tim De Keersmaeker (EhB/RITS)

Ronald Geerts (VUB/TALK)

Ruud Gielens (EhB/RITS)

Esther Gouarné (VUB/TALK)

Ivo Kuyl (EhB/RITS)

Geert Opsomer (EhB/RITS)

Klaas Tindemans (EhB/RITS and VUB/TALK)

Peter Van Goethem (EhB/RITS)

Karel Vanhaesebrouck (EhB/RITS and VUB/TALK) (coordinator)

Didier Volckaert (EhB/RITS)

Maurits Wouters (EhB/RITS)

Cooperation Partners

Cooperation Partners: KVS, Kaaitheater, deBuren, Université Catholique de Louvain la neuve (Group for Early Modern Cultural Analysis), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Université de Paris Ouest La Défense, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Universidade de Sao Paulo, La Pocha Nostra (Mexico/USA), Teatro da Vertigem (Rio de Janeiro), Universiteit Gent


Erasmushogeschool Brussel (EhB)

RITS School of Arts

Karel Vanhaesebrouck

A. Dansaertstraat 70

1000 Brussels

T 0032 2 411 42 87