Ripples After the Wave

June 2013: “When the first moving pictures were shown, at the beginning of the 20th Century, they were fairly rudimentary, even crude films: images of zeppelins on maiden voyages; people attending operas; cotton mills in actions; guns being fired; trains running on tracks. People were impressed with seeing a representation of real life, whether exotic or trivial. Is this very different from the current state of YouTube, with its cat videos, recut movie trailers, and home-made TV programs? A hundred years from now, people will look back on our first usage of the internet as a quaint fascination, a group of people who had neither the tools nor the context to push the form to its sophisticated end point…

Ami Shpiro at Innovation Warehouse

TIMEWAVE is a fascinating project, in that it is beginning the conversation and exploration of how we as artists use this medium, a medium that will continue to change our world in unimaginable ways.

Who knows where this will take us, who knows how it will be part of our work as theatre artists in even five years time, much less twenty or thirty?

I can’t begin to measure the value of this experience just now, I can only appreciate having the chance to be part of the act of pioneering.”

Drayton Hiers ~ Artistic Director, LoNyLa Singapore and director (“Paradise”)

“TimeWave was a great opportunity to collaborate with artists across the pond. Being able to use current and popular technology in a theatrical context is a great affirmation of the continued relevance and importance of live performance. As a performer, I found the practice of taking a theatrical script, written for the screen, and applying it to the format we used, challenging and fulfilling in several ways. Anyone who has used a webcam to Skype or FaceTime knows that it’s a slightly alienating and unsettling experience to try to talk directly to someone. You can never look straight into the person’s eyes and feel like you’re both looking at each other because of the slight distance of the camera from the screen. I found the familiar use of my laptop and webcam lent an intimacy to the performance that I liked.”

Transformation in NYC

Graham Halstead ~ American actor (“Transformation”)

“My experience at TimeWave was hugely beneficial. By working with directors and actors in New York, my communication skills were tested greatly, and I was forced to be much more explicit and direct in my notes. Also, by having to relocate my play to New York, I was forced to employ a skill I had never used before, essentially Americanising my play, which is useful in writing when approaching adaptations and such. Seeing American actors bring my piece to life also demonstrated how some lines are affected by cultural context and others are universal, and it brought a greater understanding of this to the performance. Overall my experience was very enjoyable.”

Nick Cheesman ~ British playwright (“Prime”)

“Timewave is one of the only places in modern theatre that can explore what it’s like to be on skype with your grandmother, what it’s like to break up with a girlfriend in another country or to be alone and together at once because of a video call.”

Peter Thomson ~ Innovation Warehouse/Brand Strategist, New Zealand actor (“Humanogram”)

Robert Rodriguez

“I feel like I have gained great connections to wonderful artists across the globe and a new way to share the work I believe in. There aren’t many opportunities that allow you to work with artists around the world. It was great that the automatically paired each of us with someone from another country. The streaming technology allowed so many people the opportunity to see these shows that they would have never had the chance to experience due to the distances.”

Ashley Marie Scoles ~ American director (“Prime”)

“For me, TimeWave was a unique and engaging experience that expanded my artistic horizons. I’m a graduate student, interested in the intersection between the arts and technology – specifically how technology can help the performing arts evolve and thrive – both onstage and off. I stumbled across TimeWave not long after arriving in London and found it to be a rare event that aligned perfectly with my interests.

Through TimeWave, I gained valuable insight into the different ways artists are using technology to help tell stories and illustrate relationships, even when the performers and the audience are separated by thousands of miles…

I really enjoyed THE ECHO EFFECT and appreciated how it used video streaming to emphasize the distance between the characters’ perspectives. Then by the end of the piece, I felt the bond between the characters so powerfully that I nearly forgot that the actors were not actually in the same room. I felt that the technology added a new level of depth that could not have easily been achieved without it. SEX, FLAP & JAZZ; “BODY/DOUBLE; and CARPE DIESAL also used technology in innovative and inspiring ways to enhance the audience’s experience – adding new dimensions to relationships, characters’ roles, and advancing the plot.”

Jessica Wesley, Art/Tech MA candidate, NYU ~ audience member

TimeWave Space Station

“I absolutely do think it’s important to get this experience at the intersection of theatre and technology, if only because it represents an effort on theatre’s part to find some relevance in this modern world. Whether we like it or not, people get their stories in a different form these days. They are now accustomed to receiving it through their computers and they are used to having a certain amount of control over the process and context in which they watch it.

Theatre, in the traditional sense, does not honor this. It forces audiences to watch the play on the company’s terms and no one wants that anymore. This might make us lament the loss of a bygone era but it’s out of our control at this point so if we want to survive and thrive, we have to adjust to a new reality.

I think it’s very wise for theatre to emphasize its live quality (which makes it fairly unique at this point) by adapting that quality not only to integrate it with technology but also to use that technology to question the very definition of the word “live.” And I very much believe that is what Timewave sets out to do.”

Dylan Southard, American director/dramaturg, co-founder of LA-based Needtheater (“Carpe Diesal”)

“Firstly, a real insight into the playwriting possibilities combining this kind of technology with theatre, to create a new kind of theatre with a much broader audience; how it can bring an additional layer to the storytelling, as well as to the presentation, and, perhaps, a way in which this new kind of theatre can reach out to a younger audience. I am, also, aware that many people around the world have now seen my work via the livestream platform. For example, I now have a meeting with a literary agent partly based on the Timewave production which she was able to watch from her office in New York. It was, also, a great opportunity to see how other writers and artists from all over the world, used this technology to take their art to another level.”

Sheri Graubert, British-American playwright (“Humanogram”)