Popular Theatre and its ›Invisible‹ Fans

Fandom as External/Internal to the Theatrical Field
  • Matt Hills


This article argues that fan studies has typically neglected theatre as an object of fandom, whilst theatre studies has, in turn, marginalised audience and fan studies. Challenging these structuring invisibilities, I will consider how fandom has been discursively constructed in the theatre »field« (Bourdieu 1993). Media fandom has often been positioned as external to the world of theatre, or discursively limited to commercial productions such as West End/Broadway shows, especially musicals. Contra such assumptions, I will analyze discourses of fandom within the theatrical field, considering how generational and media-technological developments have supported a fan-like »participatory culture« with regard to both highly commercial and ›legitimate‹ forms of popular theatre.


Theatre Celebrity Fandom Participatory Culture Bourdieu Field Theory Immersive 

Populäres Theater und seine ›unsichtbaren‹ Fans

Fantum als Externa/Interna des Theater-Feldes


Der Artikel verfolgt die These, dass die »fan studies« das Theater als Gegenstand des Fantums bislang vernachlässigt haben, während die »theatre studies« wiederum die »audience« und »fan studies« marginalisiert haben. Diese strukturellen Unsichtbarkeiten in Frage stellend, untersucht der Beitrag, wie Fantum diskursiv im »Feld« des Theaters (Bourdieu 1993) konstruiert wird. Fantum wird in den Medien oftmals als außerhalb der Welt des Theaters positioniert oder diskursiv auf kommerzielle Produktionen wie beispielsweise West End‑/Broadway-Shows, insbesondere Musicals, reduziert. Entgegen solcher Annahmen werden Diskurse des Fantums im Feld des Theaters unter Berücksichtigung sowohl hochkommerzieller als auch ›legitimer‹ Formen des populären Theaters betrachtet und gefragt, wie generationelle und medientechnologische Entwicklungen eine fan-artige »Partizipationskultur« unterstützt haben.


Theater Celebrity-Kultur Fantum Partizipationskultur Bourdieu Feldtheorie Immersion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media, Journalism and FilmUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

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