Date: December 2020
Location: Zoom online digital platform/ Host: Teatro Os Satyros (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Format: live Zoom Digital Theatre
Participants: Aleksandar Dundjerovic, Stephen Simms, Paul Sadot, Maria Sanchez, Centre for Interdisciplinary Performing Arts (CIPA) and Rodolfo Vazquez director and ensemble of Teatro Os Satyros, Brazil (www.satyros.com.br)
External Funding: Satyrianas Festival / Ministry of Culture Brazil/SESC Brazil
Cycle six developed over four weeks as a bilingual English and Portuguese performance. It was facilitated through technology and it was a digital theatre in its entirety. The concept put forward by Rodolfo Garcia Vazquez, artistic director of Os Satyros and co-director of Macbeth #6 is ‘tele-co-presence’ as a principal of digital theatre. This refers to actors and the physical audience being present at the same time, but on screen, using a technological extension, to do live encounters. The online platform used for live performance was Zoom. The rehearsals were online with actors in their location (homes or studios) in different countries (the UK, USA and Brazil) and time zones.
How to create a live performance using digital theatre within different cultural contexts? What is our collaborative strategy with Brazilian partner and their work method, which is different from our practices, particularly as they have extensive experience within digital theatre? Aleksandar Dundjerovic’s directing experience is with live theatre performance and multimedia contexts. CIPA has been exploring video art/performance, which was pre-recorded. Directing and devising cycle six demanded critical interrogation of the rehearsal collaboration and interdisciplinary creative strategies.
Teatro Os Satyros has been researching and experimenting with cyber theatre since 2009. They moved into creating live digital theatre once Covid-19 forced all theatres and public life in São Paulo to close. The starting idea was to investigate the connection of theatre with the technological digital revolution. The platform used was Zoom, which allowed live performance to take place. CIPA had previously experimented with video art/performance and recorded devised performance. Paul Sadot, who worked as a video art editor on Macbeth, had extensive experience with this art form.
This is an experimental performance that uses an interdisciplinary methodology consisting of exploration of cross-cultural and bilingual live digital performance and a recorded video art collaboration devised by an international cast. Fundamentally, we had three years of experience to draw on while Os Satyros worked within the online live platform that they championed.
Outcomes and evaluation:
The live performance was followed by 146 devices and approximately 300 people globally. It created a new understanding and knowledge of a novel way of making live theatre. A post-production Q&A discussion was followed by approximately 90 devices. The audience engaged positively with a range of questions about the creative process and performance narrative. It was pointed out that this model of work can be applied in performing arts, creative industry and education. The Q&A was recorded and will play an essential part in the future development of the performance. The plan is to develop the performance further so that it is performed within Teatro Os Satyros’ digital theatre repertoire.