Theatrical Dialogue in the Digital Age: From Director’s Theatre to the Theatre Onscreen
Thanks to its inherent nature, theatre has been better able than other artforms to resist the challenges presented by information and digital culture, which are based on the principle of reproduction. Since a theatrical text is created anew each time, an audience can enter into a real-time dialogue with a concrete group of players recreating an authorial concept. This is true even when, as in director’s theatre, a director’s interpretation is performed by different acting companies.
Today, however, the hubris of theatre critics and enthusiasts, who value unmediated dialogue as a pre-condition of theatrical pragmatics, has collided with the novel theatrical practice of live broadcasting, which was preceded by the standalone genres of radio and television plays. As a performance art, theatre possesses characteristics of a virtual object, where the information about such an object exists only in the memories of audiences or professional critics. In becoming digitised, theatre loses its former character – the uniqueness of presence in a concrete theatrical here-and-now that can never be repeated – and acquires a new mode of existence within a movie theatre represented in Russia by the Theatre HD project, which translates the theatrical educational mission into the digital age by involving new participants in creative dialogue.