Stage the Future III:
Third International Academic Conference on Science Fiction Theatre
6-7 December 2019
Omnibus Theatre, London
(Part of Talos III: Science Fiction Theatre Festival of London)
Call for Papers
Dr. Louise LePage, Lecturer in Theatre (University of York)
Following two successful conferences in the UK, at Royal Holloway, University of London and in Arizona, at Arizona State University, in 2014 and 2015 respectively, Stage the Future returns to the UK for its third conference on science fiction theatre on 6-7 December 2019. We welcome papers, panels, and performances that examine and explore the unique attributes live performance offers to science fiction and those that science fiction offers to live performance.
Science fiction and its related genres, fantasy and horror frequent contemporary stages and every year there seem to be more and more artistic productions of AI Theatre, cyborgs in theatre, VR and AR technologies on stage. The Internet Science Fiction Theatre Database lists several recent examples, and major UK theatre festivals such as Edinburgh Fringe and Vault Festival host several plays with sf elements, while genre-specific festival such as the Talos Sci-Fi theatre festival and the London Horror Festival also promote speculative fiction on stage.
In fact the conference is taking place in the same week as the third Talos: Science Fiction Theatre Festival of London (2-9 December 2019), so participants will have many opportunities to watch and discuss sci-fi performances earlier that week.
In addition to science fiction theatre, we welcome papers on sci-fi performance more broadly (sci-fi dance, immersive shows, VR theatre, AI theatre) and genre theatre more broadly (Afrofuturist performances, horror theatre, fantasy theatre.)
The conference welcomes proposals for papers, presentations, and performances from any discipline and theoretical perspective. Please send a title and a 200-300 word abstract (as a Word document) for a 15 minute paper or a reading / performance, along with your name, affiliation and 100 word biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August 2019, specifying in the subject title of your email what you are proposing. Topics might include but are not limited to:
Post-Apocalyptic Theatre, Utopian Theatre, Dystopian Theatre
Afrofuturist Theatre, Queer Science Fiction
Cyberpunk Theatre, Steampunk Theatre (and other -punk dramas)
Political Science Fiction Theatre, Time Travel, Alternate History
Non-human and post-human characters, androids, metahumans
Space Opera and Science Fiction Opera
Ecological science fiction
Science Fiction and Dance
Theatrical Adaptations of Science Fiction
Contemporary Fantasy Theatre, Horror Theatre, Weird Theatre
The conference is organised by Dr Christos Callow Jr (University of Derby), Dr Andriana Domouzi (Royal Holloway, University of London); Marita Arvaniti (PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow); the theatre company Cyborphic and the London Science Fiction Research Community.
We have so far confirmed our first keynote speaker Dr. Louise LePage, Lecturer in Theatre at the University of York, who will speak on her research in robot and posthuman theatre. More on her work on Robot Theatre here.
Stage the Future, launched in 2014, is the world’s first science fiction theatre conference. The first conference in the series took place in Egham, UK, hosted by Royal Holloway, University of London; the second took place the following year in Phoenix, Arizona, hosted by Arizona State University. After a hiatus the conference returns to the UK in 2019. You can read about the first conference here in the issue 309 of SFRA Review and here in Birkbeck, University of London’s Centre for Contemporary Literature’s blog.