The Future of Transmedia Performance

Transmedia Arts Seminar

Exploring the impact of pandemic on experimental transmedia theatre and performance.
Picture of The Future of Transmedia Performance


This panel of six distinguished speakers—scholars, dramaturgs, and directors—moderated by the Transmedia Arts seminar co-Chair, Magda Romanska, will explore the impact of pandemic on the experimental transmedia theatre and performance. Before the pandemic, theatre and performing arts had been experimenting with new media in a limited way. Although there were some experiments in multiplatform, transmedia, and digital theatre, they remained the domain of experimental avant-garde artists. The pandemic forced the performance artists, in theatre, dance, and music, who had not previously used these technologies, to begin devising new artistic models and genres that move across multiple platforms. As a result of the pandemic, our theatre culture began producing a broad range of web-based interactive and transmedia experiments, including, but not limited to, podplays and other sonic performance experiments (sound games, sound walks, transoperas, and immersive soundscapes), network plays (blockchain, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube plays), robo and data plays (algorithm, technobjects, and data-based plays), AI plays, VR plays (Second Life, VR, and other video game plays), and other interactive, new-media-based art, theatre, and performance projects. Likewise, the current VR- and AR-connected developments with Google AR Core or Apple AR kits are in the process of developing the experiential (real-time, 3D, and possibly geo-located) platforms for the future. A combination of Zoom theatre, live performance, interactive VR, and other modes of storytelling are shaking up the performing arts in form, content, and delivery methods. Although theatres and performing arts venues have been closed, digital platforms are providing greater access for both artists and audiences, impacting those for whom performing arts were previously unavailable: who can and cannot make and view theatre has changed. How are theatre and performance artists attempting to monetize these performances? How does live-streaming of traditional theatre add and hinder experimentation in new forms and genders? Will greater online access add to the elitist character of in-person performances when they return?


Antje Budde (Canada/Germany) Associate Professor and Founder of Digital Dramaturgy Lab at University of Toronto

Paul Sermon (UK) Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Brighton

Roman Senkl (Germany) Head of Digital Arts Lab at Berliner Festspiele; Theatre Director and Founder of Digitale Dramaturgie

Ashley Tata (US), Transmedia Director

Igor Golyak (USA/Russia), Artistic Director at Zero Gravity Virtual Theatre Lab

Wang Chong (China): Artistic Director of Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental

metaLAB is partnering with the Mahindra Humanities Center to sponsor the Transmedia Arts Seminar, chaired by Magda Romanska.