Performing forgiveness in the age of Covid-19: Creating a hybrid space for dialogue and peacebuilding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The current global pandemic has profoundly shaped the way in which actors and audiences are able to interact, not least with the closure of theatres and in-person performances. This has led to writers, actors, directors, and technical experts to cancel or adapt plays to create new forms of performance and modes of engaging audiences in the age of Covid-19. Using writer and director Jude Christian's acclaimed play NANJING, a personal meditation on the character of forgiveness and the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, this chapter explores the strategies of re-visioning the play to engage audiences in dialogue and reflection on themes of peace and forgiveness. It discusses how these strategies changed as a result of Covid-19 and traces the many challenges faced in realising the project. These include several redesigns and decisions about relevant technology, such as the effectiveness of using immersive telepresence. The chapter provides a useful reflection for audiences of today and tomorrow in understanding how being physically or virtually proximate affects the experience of the performer and audience. It does this taking into consideration artistic responses, online workshops, and audience responses taken from the final showing at Coventry Cathedral in July 2021 as part of Coventry City of Culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArt-Based Research in the Context of a Global Pandemic
EditorsUsva Seregina, Astrid Van den Bossche
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000689174
ISBN (Print)9781003170518
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Peace and Conflict


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