The Implications of Using Interactive Artifacts to Bridge the Divide Between Audience and Stage in a Conventional Hall Setting

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Within the field of performance art, where the audience and the performance stage is separated, there is a paradox in keeping a conventional divide between the audience and the performing stage while expanding the possible space of engagement between the two. Interactive technology yields tantalizing promises of creating an underlying layer so the conventional divide is still respected and somewhat preserved.

This paper presents a cross-sectional view of experiments done with the Royal Danish Theatre to explore different strategies of creating interactive mediation to bridge this divide. We will introduce examples of passive spectatorship modeled performances that attempted to integrate digital interaction. Through the experiments, we have become aware of central implications that one needs to be aware of to fully succeed in integrating in a manner that does not negatively impact the experience of the audience members. The three implications are context expectations, level of audience control, and the embodied experience. Based on the experiments and the implications, we suggest two things to consider: First, we discuss the possibility to work across disciplines and stakeholders to custom design mediated experiences for a particular production. Second, we propose the possibility to think in terms of designing artifacts that can be integrated into the hall setting across different plays without larger interference with the overall experience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Implications for interaction
  • Audience engagement
  • Digital mediated experiences
  • Interaction design
  • Annotated portfolio
  • Audience development

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