More information on Theatre in the Cloud?

a new project which aims to inspire and support theatre-makers to explore online spaces

Theatre in the Cloud? will involve six open workshops at the Gulbenkian, Canterbury on Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 5pm (£5 per session) starting 17th November 2013.  Each workshop is led by a specialist in a particular area who will challenge theatre-makers and technologists in a conversation and exploration of possibilities.  At the end of the workshops, two projects will be selected for small bursaries to develop ideas further.  There are no pre-conceptions about what these will be!   Please contact cathy@futuredream.net to reserve a place or find out more.

Participants are encouraged to bring specific ideas to the workshop series and see which techniques are most inspirational – and achievable.

Questions participants might consider include:

  • How can we use the web as a giant stage?
  • Are there any similarities between making work for street and online spaces?
  • How can we develop characters if we don’t use actors?
  • Can we use games engines (such as Sims or Skyrim) or cad-3d environments as sets?
  • Online, who is a character and who is “real”?  Can theatre approaches explore the blurred lines?
  • If we make theatre in this way, how can we ensure it reaches the widest possible audience?

The workshops are:

Sunday 17th November – an introduction to the project with Cathy Westbrook

This first session will include an overview of popular online characters, sets and stories; a look at how theatre has related to the web, the issue of “live” and what possibilities there might be for crossing boundaries in the future.  This is also the session for participants to bring and share their own ideas for potential projects.

Cathy Westbrook is a director of futuredream (www.futuredream.net) and has been working in the arts for over 20 years, with particular experience of programming, commissioning and producing theatre.  As the devisor of Theatre in the Cloud? she says “Digital technologies and the impact of the WWW have been an integral part of my life for at least 10 years yet I don’t see the theatre sector fully embracing the possibilities.  I hope this project will inspire some new thinking and projects.”

24th November – exploring new ways of taking radio drama out of the studio, playing with genre and blurring identity boundaries using social media with Magz Hall

The session will explore notions of expanded radio and sound practice for performance it will examine online audio spaces, using examples from those who have worked across media forms to present new radio/audio theatre

Magz (magzhall.wordpress.com) is a creative sound and radio artist senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent.  She is completing a practice-based PhD in Radio Art at LCC, University of the Arts London at CRISAP (Creative Research in Sound Art Practice).  Her sound work has been exhibited in the British Museum, the Sainsbury Centre, MACBA Barcelona, Deep Wireless Festival Toronto, Canada and worldwide on the ether.  She is a co- founder of Radio Arts (www.radioarts.org.uk) an artist-led group whose aim is to promote radio arts practice across the South East and beyond and a founder of the Expanded Radio Research Group at CCCU.

1st December – exploring the impact of video games on theatre and how to work with “Digital Native” audiences with Kate Kneale

“Video Games have changed the landscape. They have given us new classifications for the way that audiences engage with narrative. Single Player, MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online), MUD (Multi User Dimension) and RPG (Role Playing Game), where does this leave Theatre?  With a background in Film and Theatre I have developed promenade theatre installations for Historic buildings and developed large scale interactive experiences for visitors to museums and galleries. Now I am working with Games and Play. Join me to explore “Working with Digital Native Audiences”.

With a long background in theatre, film and television design, Kate is now a director of Marine Studios, Margate and HKD Design Studios.  Kate organises regular Sci/Art meetups, develops large scale projects and is responsible for the GEEK festival – an annual festival of Play and Games. She has always worked in creative teams making works for public consumption.  In recent years she has been looking at ways in which the public and community groups can be involved in the developing the work rather than as just being the audience for the work.

8th December – Story first!  When, and how, can digital processes for making inform theatre with Sam Howey Nunn

This session will introduce the idea of transmedia from a theatre angle – covering where immersive and interactive meets alternate reality game and online transmedia.  Sam will also look at where digital processes for making can inform theatre ones and vice versa.  She will emphasise that the story must always come first in the process!

Sam produces and project manages immersive stories and interactive experiences, including Interactive theatre, Games, Online communal storytelling, Cross-platform stories and Playful events.  She has worked at Roundhouse Theatre; Pervasive Media Studio; Forest Fringe; Soho Theatre; Hide & Seek Games Studio; Natural History Museum; Coney; National Theatre Wales; London International Festival Theatre; Seize The Media and Torino Film Lab

There will be a break for Christmas / New Year with the final two workshops on 12th and 19th January 2014 – full details coming soon!  Details of the bursary application process will also be released in the new year.

Theatre in the Cloud?  is a new project conceived and delivered by futuredream with funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and supported by Gulbenkian, Canterbury.

Publish date: November 7, 2013