Lunchtime Talk: Stories from the Makers - Creating immersive performance.

Sharing sense-making narratives from theatre makers who integrate digital technology and live performance.

Mari Thynne, PhD student and experimental theatre practitioner from HighWire, University of Lancaster will share insights of a recent study of 11 immersive theatre and pervasive media performance practitioners. The aim is to share the experiences of theatre makers that integrate digital technology and live performance through a ‘sense-making’ theoretical lens.

Study participants, Rosie Poebright (Splash & Ripple) and Rik Lander (Freelance Writer and Creative Director) and Sharon Clark (The Raucous Collective) will be joining Mari in a forum discussion on thoughts around the major findings:

1. Innovation is found developing out of tensions – especially when teams come together from different creative backgrounds.

2. A growing number of hybrid identities of performance makers is demonstrated as they undertake second jobs within Advertising, Design or Academia.

3. Funding and Budgeting compromise is used owing to funding cuts. The ‘aesthetic’ is vital to create a ‘real’ experience for the audience but digital interventions can be costly.

Mari will also share her plans for an online network of UK immersive theatre/pervasive media enabled performance practitioners. She hopes to offer an online space that will offer advice from the practitioner perspective - written by practitioners for practitioners. Offering links to funding opportunities, and importantly, new models of income generation to help develop innovation in theatre and performances. The idea was generated from this timely study.

Mari was trained in Theatre at Dartington (1995) and became Artistic Director of a small experimental theatre company -Theatre of Red Earth – resident at the Barn Theatre in Devon. Following this, she managed the Tippett Arts Centre at Bath Spa University and taught at City of Bath College. Thereafter, working in senior management at Bath Spa University, achieving a Master of Research in Management from the University of Bath. Together, the past practice and recent digital innovation learning, leads her to be undertaking a PhD study in Immersive Theatre production.

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