Breaking theatre is more fun than making theatre

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be awarded an Industry Fellowship on the Bristol & Bath Creative Cluster Expanded Performance programme. Yeah, it’s a mouthful… Basically it means I’m part of a group of people researching the potential of live performance in conjunction with creative technologies. It’s an arena I’ve been pushing at the door of for many years, so it’s brilliant to be supported to invest time and headspace in those possibilities.

My research focus is:

Are there inherent ‘emotionalities’ in different technologies that open up new ways to connect with story in the live moment?

– Can the ‘unfixedness’ of live performance offer unique opportunities to use the emotional potential of different technologies e.g. through distortions, instability, interaction, ‘breaking’?

– What are the processes and workflows that will help theatremakers genuinely integrate new technologies into a theatremaking toolkit, in ways that don’t feel superficial, intrusive or gimmicky?

– How can independent artists be supported and trusted to lead these processes, so that power, authorship and taste around these new possibilities do not remain held where they currently lie in theatre (institutions, white western culture, London)?

It’s interesting to be doing this research whilst the live performance industries are in freefall due to pandemic restrictions. It’s a time when surely we have to be re-visioning and re-imagining what liveness and togetherness can be. And of course it’s LONG overdue that the theatre industry should be re-examining its business models and power structures (I still think it’s in denial about this, unbelievably).

I’m sharing bits of thinking via the Bristol & Bath Creative Cluster site, but I wanted to link to it here too, in the world of Sleepdogs.

Live(ness) Thinkinga blogpost musing on “liveness” and what in the hell it is and might be.

Breaking theatre is more fun than making theatre: a talk which asks: what if we thought about difference in artistic rather than statistic terms? includes some proper honesty and terrible photoshopping.

It’s all part on ongoing thinking, so if any of this sparks any thoughts you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them.

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