Towards the end of the week, actors undertook a moved reading of the play from start to finish. Just watching the dramatic text ‘embodied’ and imagining all of the possibilities that we had discussed during the week, really helped to see how technology and media can act in a piece of dramatic theatre. Despite the original intention, the exploration as an artist is not just about when media can be considered an actor, but how technology and media can be used as an actor without destroying the fundamentals of dramatic theatre.
The point of dramatic theatre is to represent ‘real life’ and placing technology and media next to humans in non real life situations, already disrupts the dramatic theatre premise. To some extent, what we are attempting with a play like Ghosts is to place another element into the play and therefore we need to ask the questions that we would ask of placing any non-traditional element into the play, such as dancers or wooden puppets.
Without dramaturgically investigating the text and finding a reason from within the world of the play to use the technology and media, the media and technology remain foreign. One of the main issues we are facing is how to use these mediums so that they are not jarring for an audience, so that the audience stays within the world of the play while witnessing it unfold. The real task is to find how the technology and media can support the dramaturgy. While many of our ideas about creating technology and media actors for Ghosts were large and ambitious, perhaps small and simple will work better.
The biggest realisation at this point was that the actors would need to transfer their humanness to the technology, and perhaps that the technology would always need to, to some extent, remain human. One of the strengths of using technology and media next to live actors is it can emphasise 'our common humanity'. So perhaps the key is to find what the human dimension of this piece of dramatic theatre is, and then emphasise that with the technology and media?