by Marcina Zaccaria
After we’ve codified what virtual media could be, it’s time to consider what isn’t virtual. Should we rely on Zoom, YouTube and Instagram to carry our message, or should we find out-side the box techniques to remain in communication with our audiences? Should we “pass or participate” when asked create digital means of projecting performance?
Artistic Directors have had a lot to say, while ameliorating fears. They have found ways to keep theater companies viable, in this surprising moment for theater makers. While some are re-presenting already viewed performances, others have begun a campaign for Performative Art.
TheaterPizzazz.com‘s Marcina Zaccaria asked the following questions about today’s challenges in Virtual Performance:
- What impact do you think this digital revolution will have on theater in the future?
- What’s it like having audiences tune in from their living room?
- Do you wish for better technology?
- Do you have any Summer plans for virtual performances?
Yoko Shioya, Artistic Director, Japan Society
- I would say it the digital revolution would provide performing arts industry wider options for artists who create live performing arts pieces as well as for presenters.
- A few thoughts are coming up at the same time. One thing is “sadness” because the essence of presenting the performing arts is to have people share the same time and space together and have them focus on the things going on in that space. And we can do it but only JS-Encore is what we can offer at this moment. However, at the same time, JS-ENCORE is great for two reasons: It is a wonderful opportunity for the audiences who know well about Japan Society and missed attending those fabulous live performances; and it is the wonderful opportunity for Japan Society to introduce ourselves to wider audiences beyond New York City. The degree and type of “tune in” should be different from the experience in the theater, however, JS-ENCORE can stimulate the public’s curiosity for future offerings from Japan Society.
- Yes — in order to provide the above-mentioned “essence” of the Performing Arts, we need better technology in many senses. Can everybody have devices that provide quality sound and images? How about the wifi connection? A more futuristic dream is — if a presenter can provide a hologram (i.e. three-dimensional presentation), that would be great.
- I am planning to do “studio work” for internal sessions. To provide something to the public, it would be in the fall.
David Herskovits, Artistic Director, Target Margin Theater
We at Target Margin Theater have not been generating virtual work of any kind. Nor are we uploading archival content to any digital platforms. In the context of this pandemic, we have striven to slow down and reflect more deeply on our work, and above all to reflect on our place in the world as members of many communities and as responsible human beings.
Right now Target Margin is committed to the performance of a direct service; we are not engaged in “performance” conventionally understood. This is our mission. We never engage in conventionally understood performance.
We created the mask delivery project because it serves real needs for the people around us—mask wearers, and artists. It is a physical action we can execute; it brings real things to people, live; it harnesses the powerful work of gifted artists and supports them.
We make live theater. We know that there will always be a powerful need for live presence, and we look to a time when space for that presence opens up again. Meanwhile we prepare ourselves while we are in this exile by keeping our silence and exercising our cunning.