Web 2.0 Theatre Too?

Convener(s): Marcus Romer

Participants: Diane Parker, Julia Bird, Tom Bailey, Tassos Stevens, Marcus Romer, Isabel Carr, Peoder Kirk, Annette Rees. Freya Elliott, Richard Smith, Lucy Elkinson, Watter van der Crysen, Jon Spooner, Chloe Preece

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Discussion about all areas and aspects of Web 2.0 and its impact on theatre and the theatrical community.

Web 2.0 is interactivity. We used to simply passively consume information now we are creators of it.

Digital Strategy – at the core of any theatre is the physical work but what can be built around it? Podcasts, 2nd Life, You Tube, Myspace, Facebook. Can you build communities in the virtual world? How do they impact on the physical world?

Similarities between Web and Theatre – immediacy, community, use of various media – music, characters, story.

Feeling that theatre has not caught on to the changes that are happening around us. Beware the lesson of the music industry.

Online collaboration. Write plays in a virtual environment. How we think about a space changes and will effect the work in future. Engages with different people. Can work in ways that are cheaper and more ecologically sound. Designs for every theatre in the country could be created online so touring companies can designed their light and set cheaply and efficiently.

Play – Looking for JJ. Scripted from a blog and the comments on it. Created over several months.

Does the web bring in a different demographic (16-24’s) that might not have come along otherwise?

Web 2.0 and theatre are both live experiences.

Don’t just use the web for marketing – use it to create new work. Exeter Phoenix holds Scratch Nights in Second Life.

Web 2.0 provides the opportunity to build advances and tails to live events. Come with pre-knowledge of show and characters. Useful for introducing people to work of new writers they might be reluctant to approach otherwise?

Web for Revenue Streams! Saving money, sponsorship and product placement? Sell stuff, text interaction and subscription?

As we migrate online where does the revenue come from?

Community. Build a community that will follow your work between shows.

Set Stories Free – group that invite stories to be sent in online or in person. Distribute stories across the globe. Links to a particular group or production and raises awareness. 

Not trying to replace what happens offline (although artists like Mike Atavar do some work solely online) trying to support the live work or develop it in different ways.

Live event is the revenue stream – give stuff away online.

Is there a way of creating trailers and of demonstrating live theatre without destroying what it is that makes it unique? 

Most of us are technological immigrants. The next generation will be technological natives. That is the challenge.

The web 2.0 ending is as yet unwritten. In 2012 25% of jobs that graduates take have not yet been invented.

Theatre can explore the contradiction inherent in Web 2.0 that we now know our global neighbours better than our physical neighbours.

Do Tempest in World of Warcraft? Why? Capture an audience not interested in theatre? Allow them to explore our world.

Will they be interested? Why reproduce something so simply?

Argument over the banality of online life.

Some people worried by the evangelical zeal of Web 2.0 enthusiasts.

Theatre writers getting new jobs to write stories for computer games? Computer games scripts/stories often poor but in its infancy.

We do not know where we are going yet, that is the challenge. We will be creating the future.