Data Theatre

a group of actors on a stage performing a data theatre prototype production

Data is historically considered a tool for analytic support through visual interpretation, overlooking the potential of embodied representations. In this work we explore theatre as a path to creating new understandings of information, and bringing people together, to increase collective empowerment and engagement. This builds on well-established patterns of theatrical production such as playback theatre, image theatre, viewpoints, and research-based theatre. These existing practices inform and underlie our attemps to move beyond traditional flat visualizations and leverage experiential modes of understanding to build new types of representation that empower individuals and communities.

Papers and Press

Current Collaborators

  • Livable Streets Boston
  • Dani Snyder-Young - Assistant Professor, Theatre
  • Michael Arnold Mages, Assistant Professor, Art + Design
  • Moira Zellner, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Director of Participatory Modeling and Data Science; Co-Director of NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks
  • Victor Talmadge, Professor, Director of Theater Studies at Mills College
  • George Belliveau, Professor, Research-cased Theatre Cluster, University of British Columbia
  • Laura Perovich - Assistant Professor, Art + Design, Northeastern University

Past Collaborators

  • Oliver Wason, Assistant Teaching Professor, Theatre
  • Jesse Hinson - Associate Teaching Professor, Theatre, Northeastern University
  • Amanda Brea - Student, Business Administration & Theatre, Northeastern University
  • Nicole Zizzi - Masters student, Architecture, Northeastern University
  • Ilya Vidrin - Postdoctoral Associate, Theatre, Northeastern University
  • Victoria Palacin - Post-doc, University of Helsinki
  • Rolasie Norris


This work has been supported with funds from:

  • “Data Theatre for Community Engaged Deliberation” - 2023 Northeastern CAMD Seed Grant
  • “Embodying Information - The Physicalization of Data Through Performance” - 2020 Northeastern CAMD Collaborative Seed Grant
  • Northeastern Co-Lab for Data Impact.
Northeastern University