the project


The project

Be SpectACTive! is a European project based on audience development, involving some of the most innovative European organizations working on active spectatorship in contemporary performing arts. Its members are European festivals, theatres, universities and a research center.


What we do?

Be SpectACTive! aims to strengthen audience engagement with artistic creation and with cultural organizations. Its main means of action will be 21 new theatre and dance shows, 54 creative residencies, 30 workshops (with 1.000 local spectators who will choose and programme 108 shows), 4 international conferences and a constant online interaction between artists and web-users. But Be SpectACTive! is also a research project: it will accompany all the previous areas of action in order to evaluate their impact and effectiveness.


In an age of personalization and ubiquitous interactive platforms - where audiences increasingly demand active participation in culture rather than passive consumption - BeSpectACTive! will enable European arts organizations to explore new models and concepts of participation, accessibility, interaction and social cohesion. It focuses on the interaction between cultural activities and new concepts of citizenship and legitimacy, including the most advanced theories of participatory governance.


The key word is active spectatorship. It refers to each mechanism through which audiences, namely spectators or citizens, take on the role of decision makers with regard to the many aspects needed to carry out a theatre or dance festival. The project aims to give the audience a decision-making role, providing spectators with individual responsibilities in a common space of creation.


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The Comune di (City of) Sansepolcro is a public institution actively involved in the planning and management of many (more…)




CapoTrave / Kilowatt is both an Italian theatre company and a festival dedicated to new companies of the contemporary (more…)



czech republic

Tanec Praha is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation (NGO) founded in 1991. It has three basic missions: in the (more…)

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“Radu Stanca” National Theatre is a public repertory theatre that consists of a Romanian and a German department, (more…)




“The First Factory Theatre” in Budapest is an art center operating on European standards from private resources, (more…)




Domino is a non-governmental, non-profit organization based in Zagreb, Croatia, that has as its mission the questioning of (more…)

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The University of Barcelona is ranked the 1st Spanish university and the 33rd European institution in scientific quality (more…)



United Kingdom

York Theatre Royal is one of the country’s leading producing theatres, welcoming over 200,000 people each year. (more…)




Fitzcarraldo is the leading Italian center on cultural, arts and media management and policies. It has been active (more…)



United Kingdom

LIFT travels the world to bring global stories to London, transforming this city to stage, presenting unique cultural (more…)




B-51 Cultural Society is a non-governmental organisation involved since its origin mainly in the production in the field of (more…)

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At the interior of the University of Montpellier, the “Centre for Political Study in Latin Europe” was founded in 1983 on (more…)

Ultimately, the stylistic method presupposes the existence of a fourth creator in addition to the author, the director, and the actor—namely, the spectator. (Vsevelod Meyerhold, First Attempts at a Stylized Theatre, 1907)
The public is no longer a collection of hypnotized test subjects, but an assembly of interested persons whose demands it must satisfy. (Walter Benjamin, What is Epic Theatre? A study on Brecht, 1939)
We don’t need to turn spectators into actors. We do need to acknowledge that every spectator is already an actor in his own story and that every actor is in turn the spectator of the same kind of story. (Jacques Ranciére, The Emancipated Spectator, 2008)



IEMT-2-mat-todes1A local group of spectators has been created in every city of the network: they will work all year long to select part of the programming of different theatre/festival. All around Europe people have been empowered, their opinions taken into account, their suggestions carefully followed. In this project, there are not “educational” activities, where some experts are teaching the audience what a good piece of art is made of, there are not even community art actions: the project is instead a peer exchange, where everyone (audience, professionals, artists) actively learns, listening the others. Look at the list of the shows chosen by spectators.



LIFT Festival, London (UK)

A group of children from two schools in Tottenham are appointed the Official Festival Jury, and are chauffeured to and from festival shows to see the art, take notes, review, critique and vote. Subverting traditional jury structures, the children call the shots, and in their own Award Ceremony tell everybody what they think.

The Children’s Choice Awards, Mammalian Diving Reflex
1 – 15 July 2016


Tanec Praha (Czech Republic)

A group of 11 spectators watched videos and performances and discussed about them in regular meetings. There were 35 applications. At the end of the process spectators voted for the top three to be presented at the Czech Dance Platform 2016.

Gossip Lenka Vagnerová & Company
Sunday 24 April 2016

Entropy Jiří Bartovanec
Friday 22 April 2016

Trazmutation Andrea Miltnerová & Jan Komárek
Wednesday 20 April and Thursday 21 April 2016


TakeOver Festival, York Theatre Royal (UK)

TakeOver Festival is an annual festival run entirely by 12- to 26-year-olds who programme, prepare and produce a festival of theatre and events. In the last six years, more than 700 young people have been involved in running brilliant and well-received festivals. The shows chosen in 2015 were:

A Journey With Maude – An Interplay Theatre production
Monday 26 October – Sunday 1 November 2015

The Great Train Songery – Created by John Hinton
Monday 26 October – Wednesday 28 October 2015

Ghost Train – An immersive film screening
Monday 26 October 2015

TakeOver Shorts – Scratch night to decide TakeOver 2016 programme
Tuesday 27 October 2015

Phantasmagoria – A HookHitch Theatre production
Thursday 19 October – Saturday 31 October 2015

The Gentleman For Nowhere – A HookHitch Theatre production
Thursday 29 October – Saturday 31 October 2015

Coal in the Garden – Directed by the festival’s Artistic Director Lizzy Whynes
Saturday 24 October,  Sunday 25 October,  Tuesday 27 October,  Thursday 29 October,  Saturday 31 October,  Sunday 1 November 2015

Pigeon Party – A pop-up dance event
Saturday 24 October,  Monday 26 October,  Wednesday 28 October,  Friday 30 October 2015

Train-Spotting (Not the Film) – Spoken-word piece by Henry Raby
Wednesday 28 October and Saturday 31 October 2015

Of Time and the Railway – A film by Robert Davies
Saturday 24 October – Sunday 1 November 2015

Creation Stations (Story Station, Music Station, Shadow Station, Poetry Station, Art Station) – Areas for artists, performers and audience members to get creative
Saturday 24 October – Sunday 1 November 2015


Queer Zagreb Festival, Domino (Croatia)

In 2015, a group of young croatian spectators, discussed and selected 2 performances to be produced by Domino, with the goal of empowering minorities, in Croatia, to live without discrimination. One of the selected performances reflected about the inclusion of the gypsies minority, the other one included members of fan groups talking about homophobia and racism on the sports field. The performances were realized in the main square of Zagreb.

Croatian gypsies, Siniše Labrovića – performance

Football Fans, Bruno Isakovic – performance

Saturday 27th October 2015

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Selezione Visionari, Sansepolcro, Kilowatt Festival (Italy)

In 2015 the Visionari group was composed by 24 active spectators (different ages and professions). Among 232 proposals, arrived from emerging professional companies, the Visionari chose a total of 9 shows for the Kilowatt Festival 2015. These shows were:

Out, Unterwasser – theatre
L’età proibita. Marguerite Duras, ATIR / Maria Pilar Peréz Aspa – theatre
Banane, Teatrodilina – theatre
Saturday 25 July 2015

Ad alta tensione, Cappellani-Di Rienzo-Fiorelli – dance
Alluvioni, Elena Guerrini – theatre
Su’ddocu, Blitz – theatre
Friday 24 July 2015

Zero (work in progress), Cuenca/Lauro – dance
L’insonne, Lab121 – theatre
Io muoio, tu mangi, – theatre
Thursday 23 July 2015


Tanec Praha (Czech Republic)

A group of 10 spectators watched videos and performances and discuss about them in several meetings. At the end they voted for the top 3 which were presented during the Tanec Festival 2015

Bakkeia Peter Šavel
Wednesday 18 November 2015

M.E.N Edhem Jesenkovic
Tuesday 15 September 2015

SuperNaturals ME-SA/ Martina Hajdyla Lacová, Stano Dobák:
Saturday 20 June 2015

live show productions

Be SpectACTive! will produce 12 new theatre and dance shows which will come to life through a relationship with the audience. The 12 companies involved will be carefully chosen through a common assessment process expressed by the artistic directors of theatres and festivals partners to the project. Three creative residencies (in three different countries) will be given to each company. The creative residencies will be crucial for the relation with local audiences and for the artists to get in contact with different cultural contexts. Artists will open their rehearsals to groups of local spectators and listen to their impressions.

online show productions / Interactive platform

Thanks to this platform, the artists present and discuss their creative research with the audience, using cross-media files such as texts, images, videos and music. 9 new dance projects will be produced. Each choreographer and his/her dancers will have 2 residences, in 2 different theatres in Europe. During each residency, the choreographer and the dancers will work together with a local filmmaker, who will make the shooting and the video-editing of their work.
Click below on the name of the artists, look their creative work and interact with them!



During the residency program he will explore the phenomenon of correspondence based on the personal experiences of the participants. Stories, situations, topics and interpersonal relationships will be the basis for improvisation and theatrical form. Zahora and the participants will explore the journey from concrete and fully illustrative expression to an abstract one, leading to a more general meaning.

Cities of residency: Sibiu, Sansepolcro, Prague


DAN CANHAM (UK) – (2015-2016)

Dan’s practice of choreographic storytelling is meticulous, featuring audio scores comprised of interview audio clips overlaid with textured sound. The sounds correlate with the interviews and articulate Dan’s choreography. Dan Canham will undergo a process of R&D in each host city to build performance material, in the documentary dance-theatre style that Dan has become renowned for.

Cities of residency: London, Praha



"The image I have of this work is a continuous phrasing of dance performed by the two dancers moving in and out from the two exits of the backdrop. It is a dance which places the dancers in a constant crossing the stage rather than “staying” on the stage. I consider the Time as a measurable order: individual events follow one to another and are related to one another." Claudia Catarzi

Cities of residency: Ljubljana, York


The research will focus on the concept of active spectatorship, investigating the multiple impacts stemming from the participative methodologies used. The 4 years length of the project allows to develop and implement a multidimensional evaluative approach, mainly qualitative. Its aim will be to assess how and to what extent active spectatorship has an impact, in terms of stimulating audience development and diversification, improving the relationship quality, reinforcing audience’s commitment to the organizations and enhancing its capacities to understand the creative process. The research project will also analyze how active spectatorship modifies and affects the modus operandi of the professionals during their artistic creation and how it can influence the programming of artistic organizations.

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