Ten Things for Hybrid Theatre09.12.2022

Ten Things for Hybrid Theatre
  1. A form in and of itself: It has its own set of characteristics, it is a form in and of itself.


  1. Why do you want to use digital tools? Beware of ‘adding-on’ digital tools, rather than putting them at the centre of your research and development process.


  1. Have you created the potential for fusion between theme and form? Digital tools give us virtually endless options when it comes to form. If we can imagine it, we can probably build it (££ allowing). It can be a bit overwhelming. One way of dealing with this is to look for ways to dovetail theme and form – can you use digital tools to create a form that in some way says something about your subject matter? When these two things talk to one another, something amazing, even sublime can start to happen.


  1. How does your target audience / participant / user access the digital realm? There are so many variables when it comes to audience / user / participant access to the digital realm: we have far less control over environment than when, for example, we invite people to join us in a theatre or a gallery. It’s crucial that you have some understanding of e.g. the hardware your target audience are likely to use, or whether they have good (or any) broadband connections. Does your concept give you the space to work with these variables?


  1. Is your target audience / participant / user likely to embrace interactivity? One of the most exciting things about the digital realm is that it gives us the opportunity to build interactivity into the audience / participant / user experience. Does your concept embrace this, and – crucially – do you understand the extent to which your target audience / user / participant might want to play along?


  1. Iterate and reiterate: Find ways to work with your target audiences / participants / users early in the design phase. Don’t wait until you’re knee-deep in production and can no longer adapt your approach. Approach this playfully. Build in the time and resource to explore and test, working with the kernel of an idea to find out which elements excites people and why.


  1. Don’t be constrained by what you know: build a team or a network of people that will inspire you and bring new ideas and expertise.


  1. Are you creating space for happenstance? Happenstance can make a performance feel unique and bring a sense of liveness to digital work.


  1. Are you inviting people to become active and embodied? Screen based digital work can appear to be disembodied and often quite tiring. Challenge the sense that digital is a realm that only engages with our heads.


  1. Ethics, cyber security and digital citizenship: Are you collecting any data? Are you sure? If you are, do you know what you are doing with it and how you are keeping it secure? Do you understand the consequences of not protecting your audience’s data?


Co-authored by Suzy Glass and Clare Duffy in response to the research project, “What is digital Liveness’ Civic Digits 2020. Participants: