Revisiting the Anthropo(S)Cene: Theatrical Practices Beyond the Human Stage?


  • Michael Wehren



Anthropocene, anthroposcene, theatre studies, scene, actor, post-anthropocentrism, field recording


This article outlines the specifically modern understanding of an anthroposcenic theatre by (among others) referring to August Wilhelm Iffland’s concept of the “Menschendarsteller” and takes a closer look at Max Herrmann’s article “Das theatralische Raumerlebnis”. As I will show in my reading of Herrmann’s now canonical text, the early discourse of theatre studies not only reproduces the anthroposcenic dispositive of theatre but also already hints at its limits and the breaking up of the closed and privileged scene of the Anthropos. The article tries to show how, by asking and focusing the question of space and theatrical transformation, while still focusing on the human actor, his actions and the mimetic relationship between actor and audience, Herrmann decenters and denaturalizes the anthropocentric, universalized, and naturalized framings of theatre.


Article received: December 12, 2021; Article accepted: February 1, 2022; Published online: April 15, 2022; Original scholarly article

Author Biography

Michael Wehren

Michael Wehren
Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig

Michael Wehren (b. 1979) studied philosophy and theatre studies at the University of Leipzig, where he has also worked as a scientific assistant at the Institute for Theatre Studies. His doctoral thesis focusses on Brecht’s learning plays, the Fatzer-fragment and their contemporary productivity. His other areas of research include critical perspectives on class and classism in the context of theatre, body politics in modern dance, global theatres of justice and re-stagings of crimes, the transmedial afterlife of the Shoah and the Holocaust in theatre and film as well as theories of the third in the context of contemporary performance art. He is a member of the free theatre- and performance-groups EitR and Friendly Fire and works as a personal assistant at the Fonds Darstellende Künste (Berlin).


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How to Cite

Wehren, M. (2022). Revisiting the Anthropo(S)Cene: Theatrical Practices Beyond the Human Stage?. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (27), 129–139.