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Lisa Großmann

Dissertation Project

Knowledge in Rehearsal: Theater Rehearsals as a Site of Knowledge Generation and Evaluation

Every theater rehearsal is usually preceded by a long process of preparation centered on the elaboration of the staging that the rehearsals will develop. Rehearsals for the theater specifically aim to generate, secure, and—through practice—refresh and reinforce knowledge for future performances by these participants. In this process, rehearsal work takes the form of a search: knowledge should be distinguished from non-knowledge, but the categories for distinguishing knowledge and non-knowledge must first, and continually, be created and rediscovered; they exist in a permanent state of change. This means that every sound, every movement can become relevant to the staging. At the same time, statements and expressions of actors during the rehearsal, as well as reactions to movements or spoken evaluations, mark and qualify knowledge as knowledge and reestablish the dualism between knowledge and non-knowledge. The dissertation project Knowledge in Rehearsal aims to analyze the network created by communicating, evaluating, and securing knowledge in the process of rehearsal through the application of current concepts of knowledge. It asks what constitutes rehearsal as a form of knowledge and which concepts can be used to grasp this knowledge. 

The research focuses on two processes of rehearsal, applying methods of rehearsal-ethnography and documentation. By examining concrete procedures from observed rehearsal processes, it analyzes actions and concepts of knowledge and attempts to connect them with concepts of knowledge, or to formulate new concepts of knowledge in rehearsal. 

The project also aims to advance the method of rehearsal research, a new research field in German theater studies.


BA in scenic arts and MA in staging in arts and media at the University of Hildesheim. After working at the Theater für Niedersachsen and in various freelance projects, work as a freelance dramaturge and theater producer, including—among other projects—collaboration with the performance theater groups Interrobang and VOLL:MILCH.