Archive for September, 2011

What is truly ‘interactive’ theatre?

Posted in interactive work on September 10, 2011 by danbaker83

It seems a lot of theatre lately is being labelled as ‘interactive’.  As a catch-all phrase, it was particularly prevalent during this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – a diverse range of shows carried the label in reviews, simplifying their essence to a buzzword which suggested a familiar theme running through them.

But to suggest true similarities within the work is misleading.  I’ve seen articles and reviews discussing interactive work whilst covering a range of shows which are not truly interactive – at least, not in the sense I perceive.  Ontroerend Goed have created a canon of work which is regularly categorised as ‘interactive’ – but as Matt Trueman succinctly points out, the example this year of Audience does not engage its audience in any form of true dialogue, and thus cannot be called such.  Delve further into their back catalogue and shows such as Once And For All We’re Going To Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up And Listen and Under the Influence fall into the same predicament – their intention seems much more to provoke a reaction than to genuinely interact with its audience, and albeit in a less direct way than Audience to challenge the boundaries of the performer/audience relationship.  Internal and The Smile Off Your Face are definitely much more interactive pieces – but through using the model of one-on-one performance, a form which lends itself to the label naturally.

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Pulling Together

Posted in artist development, networking, producing on September 7, 2011 by danbaker83

Originally written for ArtsProfessional

One of the great things about the arts is that there seems to be a genuine sense of people really supporting each other in their work; far from it being a competitive environment, plenty of people genuinely want their peers to succeed.  Constantly working under limitations means the support offered by others is invaluable.

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Recharging the Batteries

Posted in artist development, producing on September 7, 2011 by danbaker83

Originally written for ArtsProfessional

Working in a freelance capacity brings about its own set of challenges much different to those faced when in full-time/permanent employment. As someone who is frequently engaged in more than one project at any one time, I’m familiar with such challenges – but when trying to strike the balance between the work undertaken and the more basic motive of paying one’s rent, it’s often a challenge to stay motivated and focused.

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