Until recently, the material implementation of live performances localized ipso facto their reception. Since the TV broadcastings of “Au théâtre ce soir” from the Marigny Theater in Paris, the practice of filming shows for digital distribution has expanded, recording techniques have improved, venues have proliferated, and audiences welcome the mediation of the screens that enable them to remotely attend a staged production (TV, DVD, movie theaters, computer screens).
For its next issue, Coup de théâtre, the journal published by research society RADAC (RADAC.fr) invites theater and film scholars and practitioners to share their thoughts and experiences about the recording of Anglophone live shows for digital transmission, as well as the modalities of their reception on a two-dimensional space.
The term “recording” specifically refers to the audiovisual taping of a performance in situ, and not to a “recreation” or fictionalized film version of a play. Among the main providers of Anglophone dramatic works: the National Theater Live (performances filmed in public and broadcasted on a few screens in France), the Royal Shakespeare Company (some productions are available on DVD), Digital Theatre Live (downloads subject to a subscription), and the Metropolitan Opera (broadcasted by Pathé Live in more than 120 theaters in France).
The objective for this journal issue is to explore the ways in which English-language performances are disseminated beyond their linguistic borders, as well as the conceptual and functional impact of their digital broadcastings on Anglophone performance studies.
The following inquiries could serve as a basis for this work:
· In what ways can digital broadcasting contribute, promote, complement and reinterpret Anglophone dramaturgy?
· What is the pedagogical potential of these recordings for Anglophone Theater Studies, as an instrument of knowledge and as object of study?
· What is the status of such recordings: are they archival objects or creations in their own right?
· Since the interpretation of the performance depends on how it is perceived, what new approaches help in understanding the filming and screening procedures?
· Is the recording of staged productions detrimental to the constitutive co-presence of a play and its viewers during performances, or to the contrary, does the mediation of the camera visually and intellectually enhance the film spectator’s experience?
· Can or should the digital image be edited? Is the inherent rhetoric of film montage (in)compatible with scenic simultaneity?
· To what extent is film aesthetic subservient to its scenic counterpart, and the work of the filmmakers to their dramatic homologues?
· Comments on films availability, as well as theaters policy with regards to their accessibility, can also complement the above-suggested topics.
The proposals for articles in French or in English (title and 250 words abstract) along with a short bio-bibliography should be sent to both Sandrine Siméon (email@example.com) and Agathe Torti Alcayaga (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 31, 2015. The articles (maximum length of 5,000 words) will be due by the end of February, 2016 with an expected publication date of June 2016.
Sandrine Siméon (email@example.com) and Agathe Torti Alcayaga (firstname.lastname@example.org)