PhD project

Staging Absence by Marcia Nemer

Researcher: Marcia Nemer

”Staging Absence is a PhD project by Marcia Nemer. Marcia is a PhD student in Performing Arts.”

Aim and research questions

This project investigates what happens when the concept of absence is placed in the center of the performance. To be absent is not be in a place where one is supposed to be. The friction caused by this dislocation (from presence to absence) opens some interesting possibilities because if an element is physically absent (and in that sense, is not represented) but is central to the performance it needs to be imagined by the audience and through that act of imagination it becomes “real”. Absence occurs in the space between the “real” and its representation onstage.

As the perception of absence is connected to the reception of the performance by the audience, what does it mean to be absent when that question is directed to theatre and performance? What occurs when an actor is no longer representing something onstage, but rather present in their performative state? 

Research implementation and anticipated impact

The idea that every theatrical event based on representation is, in fact, talking about the absence of what it represents is central to this project. It will investigate absent elements in performance, and performances that go beyond representation, as well as the absence of representation and the presence of the actor. An experimentation that will generate materiality that could be analyzed and reflected upon.


Start and end year for the research 2021-2025.