cover of book
 

Systemic Dramaturgy: A Handbook for the Digital Age
by Michael Mark Chemers and Mike Sell
foreword by Marianne Weems
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022
Paper: 978-0-8093-3831-3 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-3832-0
Library of Congress Classification PN1661.C48 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.2

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Working theatrically with technology 
 
Systemic Dramaturgy offers an invigorating, practical look at the daunting cultural problems of the digital age as they relate to performance. Authors Michael Mark Chemers and Mike Sell reject the incompatibility of theatre with robots, digital media, or video games. Instead, they argue that technology is the original problem of theatre: How can we tell this story and move this audience with these tools? And if we have different tools, how can that change the stories we tell?
 
This volume attunes readers to “systemic dramaturgy”—the recursive elements of signification, innovation, and history that underlie all performance—arguing that theatre must be understood as a system of systems, a concatenation of people, places, things, politics, feelings, and interpretations, ideally working together to entertain and edify an audience. The authors discuss in-depth the application of time-tested dramaturgical skills to extra-theatrical endeavors, including multi-platform performance, installations, and videogames. And they identify the unique interventions that dramaturgs can and must make into these art forms.
 
More than any other book that has been published in the field, Systemic Dramaturgy places historical dramaturgy in conversation with technologies as old as the deus ex machina and as new as artificial intelligence. Spirited and playful in its approach, this volume collates histories, transcripts, and case studies and applies the concepts of systemic dramaturgy to works both old and avant-garde. Between chapters, Chemers and Sell talk with with some of the most forward-thinking, innovative, and creative people working in live media as they share their diverse approaches to the challenges of making performances, games, and digital media that move both heart and mind. This volume is nothing less than a guide for thinking about the future evolution of performance.
 
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