Theatre and Tech breaking barriers

I was watching a TedEx Theatre Tech talk on youtube because I was worried about the future of theatre. I was in need of some sort of confirmation that the theatre industry was going to be alright after this pandemic. 

From watching the talk, I am now not only satisfied that the industry is going to be ok but also excited to see the work that is going to come out of this pandemic. 

The talk was given by the Director of Digital Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sarah Ellis. They were talking about how tech and the experience of theatre can become one art form and something that audiences can experience both on the stage and living room.

Ellis is an award-winning producer and her new role as Director of Digital Development is something new to the RSC and it is because of technology that they have this role.  

Ellis is excited to explore this new concept of theatre and technology, in the talk they showed examples of how theatres were able to create an immersive set/backdrop using technology. It looked like a silk painting was hanging behind the artist, I didn’t believe that it was actually virtual rather than a physical set. 

Even the TedEx talk was a virtual experience, to the audience it looked like Sarah was standing in a theatre but she was not, again that was down to technology. 

My own understanding of technology is very limited and not something I usually come across in the theatre world. So to hear that there is a chance of these two worlds colliding to create something extraordinary is exciting to me.

Especially during the pandemic, where theatre has had to adapt to a screen and virtual plays etc just think with this new idea that Sarah Ellis was talking about how theatre could be elevated. It could involve VR and become so much more immersive and the beauty of tech means that this experience could be brought to audiences anywhere.

Just think of how it could benefit artists, their ideas could be broadened and developed with new technology.  Maybe artists from across different countries want to work together but are restricted due to covid, thanks to tech that is now possible.

I’ve always thought of a performance being at a theatre, a place where I have to travel to and watch a performance. Now a theatre is more than that, it is in our rooms, on an app, on our laptops, on our smartphones. It brings not only a new meaning but a new audience to the theatre. 

Look at Shakespeare, this new world could bring Shakespeare lovers to technology but also brings technology lovers to Shakespeare. It’s breaking down the fourth wall.

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