Cyberformance and the Cyberstage

By Christina Papagiannouli.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Investigating the historical and cultural emergence of grafting the internet technology into the contemporary theatre practice, this paper discusses the socio-political character of the cyberspace use as a theatrical stage, suggesting the term cyberstage to describe this phenomenon. Drawing on Helen Varley Jamieson’s definition of cyberformance, a “live performance that utilises internet technologies to bring remote performers together in real time, for remote and/or proximal audiences” (Jamieson, 2008, p.34), the use of cyberstage is analyzed in the following three online performance cases: Helen Varley Jamieson’s Make-Shift (2010), a networked performance collaboration with Paula Crutchlow, Dries Verhoeven’s performance Life Streaming (2010) and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production Such Tweet Sorrow (2010). The substructures of an internet-based theatre have already been set, attracting many contemporary artists to experiment with that tool, foregrounding questions about the future of cyberformance and the theatre presence in cyberspace. The paper discusses the developmental potential of cyberformance as dealt with by Dixon (2004), Jamieson (2008) and Kattenbeld (2010).

Keywords: Cyberformance, Cyberstage, Online Theatre, Make-Shift, Life Streaming, Such Tweet Sorrow

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.273-282. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.479MB).

Christina Papagiannouli

PhD Student, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of East London, London, UK

Born in Greece in 1985, theatre director and musician Christina Papagiannouli gained a Degree of Harmony at the age of 17. The next year she entered the Drama Department of Faculty of Fine arts of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) where she studied for five years on different theatre’s specializations: including acting, directing, film studies, light, set and costume design, and dramaturgy, pedagogy and performance theory. In 2006 she studied as an exchange student (Erasmus) for one year at the Drama Department of University of Kent. During her undergraduate studies a research on the use of technology in postmodern theatre was completed, focusing on the work of the Wooster Group. In 2009 she finished her music studies with a degree in Violoncello and she returned to United Kingdom, in order to start her MA in Theatre Directing at University of East London. Continuing her research on the use of technology, her practical dissertation focused on the use of surveillance media. In September 2010 she followed the directing course How to Rehearse at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Today she is concentrating on her practice-based PhD at UEL with thesis title: Etheatre Project: Directing Political Cyberformance. The cyberstage, issues of ‘spaceless’–‘bodyless’–‘liveness’ and interactivity.


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