Journalistic Theater: A Case Study of Reporting on People’s Emotional Response to Current Affairs With the Body as Medium

Stijn Postema


This article provides a detailed case study of “journalistic theater,” focusing on Teatro di Nascosto, an Italy-based international group creating public events in the Middle East and Europe. Employing a reconstruction method, the study explores the production process of The Catwalk (2018, 2019), a series of performances on people’s daily lives and emotional responses to current affairs in conflict zones. The article offers 3 main perspectives on news work at the intersection of journalism and performance arts. First, live experience performance can enhance news work with artist-journalists engaging in intimate relationships for which they “dissolve” in a real-life situation. Second, empathy-driven news work succors performers and audiences with a sense of hope for recovery and healing, drawn from communal experiences, and advancing journalism’s “emotional turn” with a compassionate orientation. Third, journalistic theater’s physicality extends news work with the stage as a platform and warrants a perspective of embodied journalism, spotlighting the human body as a medium.


artistic journalism, theater, conflict reporting, performance, human body, community work, emotion, embodiment, live journalism

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