Theatricalization in the Cultural History Museum


  • Karen Vedel University of Copenhagen



The performing museum, Tirpitz Museum, An Army of Concrete, Theatricality and participation in the museum, Immersive environments, hermeneutical phenomenology, Situated knowledge


The article examines theatricalization and visitor participation as curatorial strategies in new museological practices. It asks: How are theatrical and participatory elements put into use and what is their effect on the visitor experience in terms of meaning-making. Based on a first-person phenomenological description, the analysis centres on the exhibition An Army of Concrete in The Tirpitz Museum on the west coast of Denmark. Looking at the processes of theatricality in the exhibition, it is argued that meaning-making ultimately relies on visitor participation and is produced self-reflexively in the engagement with the immersive environments, the
audio-narratives and the displayed objects.

Author Biography

Karen Vedel, University of Copenhagen

Karen Vedel, Associate Professor, PhD, Theatre and Performance Studies, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. Research areas include dance and theatre historiography, site specificity and cultural memory. Has since 1998 collaborated extensively in projects involving dance artists and scholars in South Africa and the Nordic countries. “The Performance of Pictorialist Dance Photography” in Nordic Theatre Studies. 29:1 (2017). Nordic Dance Spaces. Imagining and Practicing a Region” as chief editor and contributing author (Ashgate, 2014). For complete list of publications see


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How to Cite

Vedel, K. (2020). Theatricalization in the Cultural History Museum. Nordic Theatre Studies, 31(2), 23–36.



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