How does Blast Theory and Plaintext Players fit in?

As our performance date grows near, we reflected on what techniques our performance use from the chosen companies as mentioned in previous posts. First of all, Blast Theory. As said on their official website (2013) risk taking is a key element to their performance, usually done through themes, e.g. pornography, which are artistically dealt with. The theme of risk taking is an inspiration within our performance as the narrative of the piece is that the company, Dada Studios, is in trouble and that the company members are risking everything they have to complete a film. Another risk we are taking is that we are putting pressure upon the audience and placing the idea of the film industry being unfair and harsh as mentioned in a previous blog post. The risk there is that some audience members may not engage or not be co-operative in which case they can watch what others are doing and experience the performance that way, as a watcher.

Stated on their website (2013), Blast Theory’s performance of Desert Rain (1999) the company has the audience within a virtual space that contain realistic elements. Within that space both fiction and non – fiction play a role, a topic which we feel does the same in our performance. The space itself is created to look like an improvised but unorganised film set, as well looking professional with the set up of the tables so the audience can be immersed and gain a feel of the industry we have created. But contrasting that would be our characters as our names and the characteristics we portray are unnatural, plus the outcome of the film (as shown in previous practices), the items we provide to the groups and the way the script is being written are not aspects that are commonly seen on a film set which brings that non realistic element into our performance.

As for Plaintext Players (2000), their specialties in having their performances via the internet and controlled improvisation with text inspired the way we use the technology of the script and broadcasting. As mentioned we use Open Broadcaster to stream/record the performance as well as using Google docs to have the audience write a script live. This can be seen within Plaintext Players’ performance of Virtual Live (2002) which took place in a gallery where the performers were live and online, with their text being shown to the audience. For our performance, we not only have the script being shown on a big screen just for the actors but for the audience to see what is being written, to help them empathise with the chosen actors. We also took the idea of having online performances but rather than being a live broadcast, we improvised short videos of a group chat to promote the performance on social media. This will be explored more in the next post as it is exploring character development for the members of Dada Studios.

Bibliography

Blast Theory, 1999. Desert Rain. Nottingham: Blast Theory

Blast Theory, 2013. Desert Rain. Blast Theory. [Online]
Available at: http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/projects/desert-rain/
[Accessed 15 March 2017].

Blast Theory, 2013. Blast Theory: Our History & Approach. (Online)
Available at: http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/our-history-approach/
[Accessed 15 February 2017].

Plaintext Players, 2000. The Plaintext Players. [Online]
Available at: http://yin.arts.uci.edu/~players/
[Accessed 15 February 2017]

LaFarge, A., 2002. Virtual Live. New York: Plaintext Players.

Plaintext Players, 2002. Behind the Scenes at Virtual Live. [Online]
Available at: http://yin.arts.uci.edu/~players/RF2/VL/behind-VL.html
[Accessed 15 March 2017].

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