Twitter strikes again! This time one of the postgrad organisers at the Theatre and Performance Research Association spotted me on Twitter, found my blog and invited me to submit a paper to their Dealing with the Digital symposium. They’ve kindly agreed to let me post my proposal here. I’ll be writing the paper over the next 2 weeks, and no doubt will blog some of my thoughts/conclusions along the way. Enjoy:
Proposal for a 10 minute paper at
DEALING WITH THE DIGITAL
TaPRA Postgraduate Symposium
10 – 5.30, 20th March 2010, Bedford Square, London
The Player as Political.
The video game ethic of player-as-protagonist is beginning to influence mainstream non-digital approaches to narrative. In theatre this is seen in the emerging popularity of interactive forms pioneered by companies such as Blast Theory, and current being popularised by Pervasive Gaming companies such as Hide and Seek and the mp3 or locative technology driven soundwalks of Duncan Speakman and Subtlemob. This paper examines the root of the current drive towards total and pervasive performative immersion, and how we can tackle the traditional problems of immersion that are suffered by video games and other escapist narratives – a loss of political power, objectivity and community experience – within a theatrical context. This paper investigates the ethical implications of suspending the weight of disbelief in one person, and suggests that in hyperlocal performance, and a new world of fractured, multi-facet identities, gentler tactics are necessary, and locative and site-responsive aspects are the best way of preserving the political power of theatre within an individualist context.
Hannah Nicklin is a first year PhD student at Loughborough University. Her research interests include questions of theatre and digital technology, with a particular focus on selfhood and storytelling in a digital age. She has spoken at Nottingham Trent and Leeds Met universities on new narrative forms and social media for theatre companies, drawing on her work with Foursight Theatre and Theatre Writing Partnership. She maintains a blog at hannahnicklin.com, pieces of which have been reproduced by the Telegraph, Subtext Magazine, and the Arts Council, and she will be speaking at the Shift Happens UK arts, learning and tech conference in Summer 2010. Hannah is also a playwright, her most recent work Awake – the story of a gamer meeting her avatar – will be performed at Theatre503 this March.