Theatre is all about exploring the human experience and computers are a major part of the modern lifestyle. Technology has changed today’s audience tremendously due primarily to the instant access of information. It has improved the way we produce theatre technically to meet the needs of a smarter audience. Theatre is the ultimate social network streaming live through every brain present. This non-physical connection between player and viewer is a give and take flow of energy feeding each other continuously. The relevance of theatre today is more important than ever.
Theatre began as a tool to educate the masses in an entertaining way. Familiar situations and experiences were used to teach moral lessons or explain difficult concepts . Night and day, good and evil, life and death, action and consequence. The beauty of theatre is that it has not changed much in that sense. Contemporary plays have improved the perception of theatre, bringing the stories and characters closer to our time. To the greater majority, however; theatre is viewed as old and stuffy.
Audience members have shifted their attention to other mediums. They abandoned old fashion ways of thinking and living to keep up with technology. People want to travel the world and explore themselves. They want to surf the web for information and make an impression on the digital world. Everyone is craving a connection and obsessed with the social network. They watch movies and reality TV on their lap tops waiting to be inspired. Although the content may be thought provoking and entertaining, it is still missing the live experience. Human beings rely on all the senses to experience a moment and when one is missing we don’t absorb the situation completely. We may not notice what is missing but we know that something is. The advantage of being present is one can feel the actor’s emotions rather than simply observing and hearing the expression of the emotion.
There is something amazing about the feeling of sitting in the house anticipating the performance to come. Sharing this experience with other audience members only validates those feelings. When the goose bumps strike up with the orchestra and the curtain opens, the viewer is transported to a place between familiar and fantasy yet it is still a present reality. Not Live via satellite but a live in the flesh interaction of characters at the mercy of the crowd.