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Devoted & Disgruntled 12: What Shall We Do About Theatre and the Performing Arts Now?

Theatre *xLIVEx* to screen: why / not?

Ben Monk - 15 January 2017

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Called by Benjamin Monk.

Attended by:
Kirsty Sedgman (and Monty!)
Christopher Hoss
Rosie Scudder
Ed Browning
Ginnie Stephens
Tom Wateracre
Matt Sheahan
… and more lovely butterflies!

Such a top session, that fluttered off into so many fascinating directions. Will email round after w/ sources. All these points were mentioned by lots of brill people:

*SCREENED THEATRE IS NOT MORE OR LESS BUT DIFFERENT.

*Key action point: start EXPERIMENTING. Social media networks the ‘live’ as future, from Periscope to Facebook Live.

*How do you get that LIVE EXPERIENCE on the screen? Mediums BATTLE in translating to screen.

*Remember: different types of liveness - SPATIAL, TEMPORAL and SOCIAL. GLOBAL liveness needs to be pursued.

*EVENTNESS. Preshow draws people into the event. Embedded post show. Backstage. Audience. Atmosphere is essential.

*Non-London audiences it is useful for geographic spread. Couldn't afford the cost for school kids. But centres on London out, not regions out.

*Research shows: younger audiences like streams. older audiences like event cinema. doesn't cannibalise live audiences but IMPROVES.

*Storytelling: new storytelling - digital storytelling. Story diving - stories are AMPLIFIED by phone streaming. Can long form theatre be adapted to short form storytelling?

*How do we get independent artists to use? BAC proposing ideas to the BBC, Live From Television Centre to new Performance Live strand on BBC 2 from BBC 4.

*Live streaming is only as strong as the tech. Tech can fail.

*Streamed events you become part of the conversation w/ communal audience.

*Older audience in event screening asking WHAT IS A HASHTAG

*Digital natives - more at the centre?

*Making theatre FOR a screen?

*NT LIVE are early adopters and the tech will spread.

*Screened theatre as a DIFFERENT product. As marketing?

*Mrs Brown's Boys is theatrical! Theatrical events have a ripple effect - Trump's performance AMPLIFIED through the screen. Live audiences have a dramatic irony, can recognise theatricality.

*Football and Premier League - advertised as watching communal performance, but research shows is watched ALONE.

*BAC talked about adapting Collision's The Money for screen. How would a performance so audience focus work on screen.

*Ticket prices are £16 at the Curzon cinema for conventional cinema. But it's about GEOGRAPHICAL ACCESS. It's not the theatre I'd want to to see and teach but it's available.

*You can see the process of becoming professional on X Factor, why not with Theatre? Scratchr - can we share Scratch progress through LIVE STREAMING. Digital sharing which is ALLOWED to fail, not on TV where completeness expected.

*Bootlegging theatre, they feel a responsibility to enjoy and share with OTHERS.

*A play script becomes instructions, not the definite object.

*Digital curation of a theatre festival? Julian Cope, every day something new. Telling a story through DIFFERENT frames

*Theatre is destroying itself. Theatre is for people LIKE US. Tensions between people we want to have in, but we can do the OTHER.

*There will always be an audience - don't have to screen - but research shows live streaming particularly attracts a younger audience. What pleasures derive from POPULAR THEATRE - screening ‘lesser forms’, eg football.

*Livecast to people's phones? Screen can put people on the EDGE. Theatre is a COLLECTIVE experience. FB Live showed backstage. Scale of the cinema against a phone. YOU MUST TAILOR YOUR SCREENING TECHNIQUES TO OUR CHOSEN SCREENING OUTPUT.

*Liveness / participation on the RECEPTION END. Not defined by particular design decisions.

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