Applying a physical background to a multimedia event
A life in the theatre can seem pretty random. Or... it does until you look back on your body of work and see how mechanically every little career choice has led you up to here.
I was recently awarded a little funding from the Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators' Reserve grant program, selected through Theatre Gargantua. This is my first arts grant from the Ontario gov't., and my first government funding since I moved to Toronto from Edmonton in mid-2007. I won't lie to you, it's been a quiet few months for me.
However, I've been cooking up a concept for a new show in the mean time. My new project is called REALITY. It's about reality TV. I've already been doing some research (... more about that in a later post...).
My show will be a multi-media production. Believe me, I'm not saying that to try to piggyback on any kind of caché that the label "multi-media production" might have. Like I've said before, I instead worry about the baggage that it carries.
But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in the form.
See, to me, theatre is designing a live event for a specific space and a limited audience during a block of time. Words are spoken, actions are taken, the audience absorbs the whole experience. Which is why I've always been fascinated with physical theatre: because the event is designed for a greater portion of the live space. And you need to begin designing that live space from the moment the creative process begins. It's like shaping a play more than writing it.
But when I did my superhero show back in '07, and we broadcast it over the radio at the same time as we performed it, I realized that "designing for a specific space" and "designing for a limited audience" can have a larger and broader meaning than I originally thought.
Designing a live event for virtual space is a very compelling idea to me. So is designing for a virtual audience.
Designing a live event both virtually and physically simultaneously is... just stupidly cool.
So that's where I'm starting. I'm incorporating the form in the early stages of my creation design. I'm going to talk about the process in this blog as I go along. Not only because I want to share, but also because if you have an opinion or a thought about what I'm doing, I'd love to hear it.
I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that I wrote the first draft in a 24-hr playwriting contest sponsored by Alberta Playwrights Network and the University of Alberta Bookstore in 2006. (Thank you alma-matter -- I'm totally grateful for my education.)
Reading this on Facebook? Leave a comment here.