What is the academy?


The ACADEMY FOR THEATER AND DIGITALITY is a model project of the Theater Dortmund for digital innovation, artistic research, technical education and training. Here, fellows together with the Academy’s staff investigate the possibilities of digital technologie for the performing arts: we explore innovative technologies, changing work structures, new narrative forms and discuss what it means to be an artist today at the interface between the performing arts and the latest technologies.

We’d like to research firstly how digital technologies can be applied meaningfully and sensually for the performing arts; secondly how the latter are transformed by, for example, sensors, robotics and actuators, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence etc.; and thirdly how digital technologies can expand the various areas of work in front of, on and behind the stage. 

The ACADEMY FOR THEATER AND DIGITALITY sees itself as a place of innovation, inspiration, discourse, exchange, a place with the courage to try something new and also to fail, for reflection, network building, impulse giving and communication – a place of art! 

The AKADEMIE FÜR THEATER UND DIGITALITY is supported by the Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Wilo-Foundation and receives funding from the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF / EFRE). 





The world as it presents itself to us has become more complex. The number of loose information transmitters reaching into our areas of perception has increased explosively. Whether technology, science or politics: the interrelationships have become more complex and contradictory. The way in which the public sphere is organized, political discourses are conducted, and how we work and live together has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. The digitalization of all areas of life has played a not to be underestimated part in all this. The tools it creates are used by people today as a matter of course. And we are now faced with the epochal task of investigating the numerous new connections between the digital and analog worlds, i. e. digitality: phenomenologically, sociologically, philosophically, technically and – as a core discipline of the Academy – artistically.

How does the theatre react to these changes? With which narrative patterns, experimental set-ups and technological inventions? What know-how do theatre professionals need now? What tools can and must the theatres themselves develop? For which professional fields of the performing arts do we, as technology-oriented artists, have to offer new opportunities for further education? Which are the upcoming new possibilities of narration, catalysed by new technologies? Which social debates can be taken up or even initiated in theatres through the use of digital technologies? What are the issues of post-digital modern age? How can technology – as a tool of production and object of observation – be sensually experienced and discussed in an open artistic space?

(Marcus Lobbes)