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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Arts in Society

SPOT ON! guest lecture - KASIA LECH (University of Amsterdam): 'Towards New Europe(s): How Migrant Theatre Artists Use Multilingualism to Imagine Alternative Pasts, Present(s), and Futures'

When:We 06-03-2024 18:00 - 20:00
Where:Exposition room, Harmonie building

The theatre section of the ICOG Research Centre for Arts in Society, University of Groningen is delighted to announce this guest lecture as part of the SPOT ON lecture series.

All welcome, no registration required!


While national theatre systems in Europe are predominantly national-language-specific, organized by and narrated in so-called national tongues, theatre made through and of interacting languages played crucial role in European theatres' histories. Today, multilingual theatre has become again increasingly important, underpinned by diverse and often interconnected factors: minority and regional languages, globalization, new technologies, migration, disability contexts, internationalization of mainstream institutions, European projects, and new educational initiatives. Across all these contexts, artists engage with critical ethical questions related to difference. How can theatres in Europe represent, reflect on, put to debate, and shift paradigms of otherness in various European past(s), present(s), and future(s)? And how can theatre imagine new paradigms for difference beyond the us/them framework? Focusing specifically on multilingual theatre created by migrants, this talk will discuss how theatre artists have used multilingualism to (re)imagine histories, as a site of present-related activism, and a platform to imagine futures.

The lecture presents ideas from Kasia Lech’s upcoming book, Multilingual Dramaturgies: Towards New European Theatre (Palgrave, release date: 7 May 2024).

About the speaker

Kasia Lech, with a PhD from University College Dublin, is a scholar, actor, storyteller, dramaturg, and puppeteer with twenty years of conservatory and university teaching experience in the UK, Ireland, Poland, and Netherlands. She published Dramaturgy of Form: Performing Verse in Contemporary Theatre (Routledge, 2021), which received outstanding reviews for its content, critical quality, and decolonizing scholarship on verse. Her second book, Multilingual Dramaturgies: Towards New European Theatre is forthcoming with Palgrave.

She is currently researching how verse stages marginalized artists’ responses to socio-political-cultural contexts worldwide. Kasia is also part of funded research projects on mapping Polish migrant theatre worldwide, on historical and present violence in Polish theatre, and on creating multilingual European theatre ensembles performing for young audiences.

Kasia performed internationally and co-founded Polish Theatre Ireland – a multilingual theatre company based in Dublin. She is an Executive Director at, a global theatre portal which seeks to decolonize theatre criticism. She currently co-convenes the Translation Adaptation Dramaturgy working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research.