Holding the digital mirror up to nature - a practice-as-research project exploring digital media techniques in live theatre

Brannigan, Ross
Johnson, Rosser
Gallagher, Sue
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Master of Arts in Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

Is an actor performing live if that actor is out of sight in the wings and appears on stage as a computer-mediated representation? Is co-presence with such a mediated embodiment problematic for the performer? This project seeks to explore the use of digital media elements, from the perspective of the actor, in the collaborative process of devising, designing, rehearsing and performing a Shakespearian theatre production. It raises issues of the creative possibilities that applications of new technologies afford and of a changing perception of the nature of liveness. Can digital media techniques usefully enhance the liveness of performance and extend the audience’s experience of the production? Specifically, can it augment their perception of themselves, mirrored on stage? Exploring the usefulness of digital media techniques takes a theatre practitioner into the intermedial, liminal spaces where the two fields converge. These are spaces of possibility where new ways of working might emerge. This thesis is presented primarily as an experimental performance and is contextualised by this exegesis with its written and DVD components.

Practice as research , Digital media and live theatre , Liveness , Mediated embodiment , Actor's perspective , Shakespeare
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