Headline Dec 01, 2015/ ''' TECHNOLOGY IN THEATERS '''


''THE CELL PHONE is totally boring its way into the consciousness of playwrights, because we live with them stapled to our faces-

And major emotional and life altering information is being transmitted via these devices," said Bray Poor, a sound designer who worked on Ms. Baker's "John".

''Especially when you are dealing with younger playwrights  -phones were part of their college lives, they are part of their romantic lives,'' Mr. Poor said. 
The Cell phone is elemental, and so will it be in their plays.''

The examples are everywhere. Quiara Alegria Hude's 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning  "Water by the Spoonful" was set partly in an online chat room for drug addicts, requiring characters to speak words they actually would have typed.

Now she is working on a new musical, "Miss You Like Hell," in which those who comment on a teenage girl's online diary form the show ensemble.

In "The Humans"  a current Roundabout Theater Company production by Stephen Karam, a Thanksgiving dinner is punctuated by furtive cellphone calls from a young woman to her former girlfriend trips to the are of the apartment where-

Reception is adequate to check sports scores, joining among siblings about alarming articles electronically forwarded by their mother and a reading of poignant email from their grandmother.

""Dear Evans Hansen," coming to Second Stage Theater off Broadway in the spring after a run at Arena Stage in Washington, uses projections from:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Gmail to evoke the cacophonous swirl of social media in a high school grappling with a teenager's suicide. 

 ''We didn't set out to write a show about social media   -in fact, it's been our sense that when we see technology in theater, a lot of time it feels inauthentic to us,'' said Banj Pasek, who wrote the  ''Hansen''  show's book and lyrics with Justin Paul.  ''But we wanted to layer it in, because it's part of our everyday lives.''  

The challenge of dramatizing digital communication exists in movies,  television and books as well, but is especially pronounced on the stage where printed language  [in projections or supertitles] is often viewed as less compelling than the spoken word.

Such technology is  "appearing in a lot of plays already, but we as an industry still need to figure out how to make it truly theatrical," said Page Evans, the artistic director of LCT3, Lincoln Center Theater's program for new playwrights, directors and designers.
Some writer have tried to dodge the issue.

Jonathan Marc Sherman moved a play he is now writing called  "The Squeaky Wheel," from 2008 to 2000 so his characters could read real estate listings in a newspaper instead of on an app.

And even in  "The Humans,"  Mr. Karam set the action in a ground-floor/basement duplex with poor reception so that the bulk of the play could place without digital interruptions.

"I was definitely interested in how, in a world in which we are so married to these forms of communication, do we behave when we 're shut off," he said.

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers who love Stage and Theater. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society:

''' Singin' In The Rain '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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