MS WINDOWS PRODUCTIVITY RESEARCH APPLIED TO THEATRE.

Richard Lee Buckner

Abstract


     This work begins interdisciplinary, theoretical support for a new technical age of more creative and varied play writing and more productive theatre performance.

     I summarize past, highly validated display theory that is applied in an "interdisciplinary experiment" as technical additions to a professionally, table read, full length play showing justification of the application.  Results suggest further interdisciplinary research to take advantage of demonstrated benefits  and address interesting problems uncovered. In contrast to much theatre today that stems from past elocution, realism and illusion ages, presently being added are technical elements reinforcing live action and dialogue including projection.  Projection had to wait half a century from attempts by Tennessee Williams to introduce it in "The Glass Menagerie."  I take this technical addition a step further by projecting an MS Word script with color and embedded sound and images that come with productivity and "viewability" increases traded off with increased pre-performance costs.  The article defines these and following constructs.  Play writing, performance and audience enjoyment can be greatly enhanced using script projection with embedded technical elements, and I present a needed, better, theoretical approach to play writing supporting this technical addition.

     I summarize a Social Science experiment resulting in my former, original display theory, involving Viewability, Complexity, Productivity and MS Windows.  That theory is expanded and applied to both play script "pages" in one or more MS Windows and to Proscenium Theatre Production.  See papers discussing that experiment presented and published through ISSS in the '90's.  I consider projection of a digital script, with embedded multi-media that is played/displayed by the projectionist, as one or more additional "virtual" cast members along with traditional non-human theatre elements.  Practical considerations of script projection suggest beneficial changes in the "standard" script format.  Original contributions to display theory for playwrights and theatre performance follow from summary and analysis of the results of readings of the experimental play, "Con Te Partiro," in December, 2016.  Using the new theory promises very much greater opportunity for variety and creativity to the playwright and audience.  MS Word is more powerful and flexible compared to existing play writing Apps.  This resulting theory is applied to the script, projected image and proscenium as analogues of Windows. 

     Points in the theory are correlated with results--validating them as appropriate applications of the prior social sciences experimental results--suggesting a different script format and an architecture for play writing (in development).  Lessons learned in the table readings suggest improvements that might be made by Microsoft to Word.  Interdisciplinary research opportunities to substantiate other points in the new theory are listed. 

     This paper lays a guiding, validated, scientific foundation for a new, theoretical architecture of more creative and varied play scripts in a technical, interdisciplinary age of theatre, promising cost savings at performance time.  


Keywords


theatre productivity; information technology in theatre; theory of theatre; interdisciplinary contributions to theatre; play script projection; virtual dramatis personae

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