Mediation and the PandeTheatre

Digital performativity in the smart staging of Brilliant Mind




Affect, transcultural mediation, psychodrama, interactive theatre, audience participation


One of the negative impacts of the pandemic on creative culture is new limitations imposed on interactive performance in theatrical production. Producers resorted to digitality to explore the potentials of smart staging. A new play titled Brilliant Mind is a case in point for its innovative use of digital alternatives to maintain interactive performativity in what the producers describe as “live theatre in digital landscapes”. The play was digitally performed online in 2021, and members of the audience were allowed to digitally explore parts of the set and interact with characters. This paper examines the play’s use of digital performativity as a form of mediation for pandemic-era theatre by unpacking its digital interactive strategies. The authors offer a close textual and visual analysis of their experience as audience members in addition to employing theatrical principles of psychodrama, as well as concepts of affect theory as an approach to visual communication.

Author Biographies

Mona Khattab, University of Vaasa

Mona Khattab, MA, is a doctoral researcher at the University of Vaasa, Finland. Her research focuses on the impact of new digital media on communication, focusing on individual access and outreach. Khattab’s research interests include social media, new technology, digital cultures, games and media studies.



Wessam Elmeligi, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Wessam Elmeligi, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Director of the Comparative Literature and the Arabic Translation Certificate at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA. His research includes works on narratology, visual narrative analysis, literary theory, identity and migration studies, and Middle Eastern and comparative literature. His most recent book is Cultural Identity in Arabic Novels of Immigration: A Poetics of Return (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020).


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How to Cite

Khattab, M., & Elmeligi, W. (2023). Mediation and the PandeTheatre: Digital performativity in the smart staging of Brilliant Mind. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 38(73), 050–072.