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Cyborg theatre – corporeal / technological intersections in multimedia performance

Cyborg theatre – corporeal / technological intersections in multimedia performance

Jennifer Parker-Starbuck


Cyborg Theatre investigates the role of bodies within the expanding field of multimedia performance. This innovative study articulates the first theoretical context for a “cyborg theatre” that metaphorically integrates on-stage bodies with the technologized, digitized or mediatized, to radically reimagine subjectivity in our post-human age. Parker-Starbuck covers a variety of provocative examples, both historical and contemporary, to propose new theoretical tools for understanding performance in our changing world. She offers a compelling feminist-inspired argument for the ways in which a range of bodies appearing on stage with new technologies serve to challenge notions of identity and destabilize historical binaries. Through a variety of critical lenses, Cyborg Theatre considers the ways in which bodies are already integrated with technology and the questions this raises in and through performance.

Palgrave Macmillan


Jennifer Parker-Starbuck

Professor Jen Parker-Starbuck is the Head of the School of Performing Arts and Digital Media at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is author of “Cyborg Theatre: Corporeal/Technological Intersections in Multimedia Performance” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, paperback 2014), “Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field” (co-authored with Bay-Cheng and Saltz, University of Michigan Press, 2015), and co-editor of “Performing Animality: Animals in Performance Practices”, (Palgrave, 2015). Her “Animal Ontologies and Media Representations: Robotics, Puppets, and the Real of War Horse” (Theatre Journal, Vol. 65, Number 3, October 2013) received the ATHE 2014 Outstanding Article award. She was the Editor of Theatre Journal from 2015-2019 and is a Contributing Editor to PAJ, and the International Journal of Performing Arts and Digital Media. She is a Theme Leader for Story Lab, a strand of the ARHC funded Creative Clusters Programme StoryFutures.


Her work has focused upon the historical and theoretical implications of new media/multimedia and its relationship to the body in performance. This work with multimedia has expanded to include work on cyborg performance, trauma and memory in performance, dis/ability in performance, feminism, live art practices, and animality and the non-human. She has studied avant-garde and experimental theatre in both theory and practice and has a degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she attended the Experimental Theatre Wing and the Directing Programme. She is also interested in practises and applications of contemporary acting, directing, and theatre-making as well as contemporary American and European performance.

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