Thesis

Digital Performance Labs in Theatre

Theatre education is evolving across the board to meet the needs of digital native students toward becoming professional artists for a digital world. Including digital performance laboratories to theatre curricula across the board in higher education is one way theatre departments do so. Within these kinds of labs, theatre educators can use performance strategies that include digital technology to guide students through problem-solving-a type of flipped classroom, meaning teachers are not the central focus, but students are. With students at center in digital performance labs they can learn to actively question, examine, and critique human activity behind computer processes under the guidance of theatre scholars by harboring a cooperative relationship between theatre and computer sciences. Students from both disciplines can cooperate in creating and adapting plays to include computers and internet as part of the action onstage to ultimately reveal the impacts digital technology use has on the human condition. This is especially relevant work when we consider the following points: 1) digital technology forms interactive social media platforms that mirror the theatre experience, allowing people to appear as actors in creating social norms through performance, which is why 2) software developers and computer manufacturers use theatre as a model for designing their products, making theatre scholars well-positioned for critiquing computer processes as a product of culture. Digital performance labs effectively prepare theatre students as professional artists for a digital world by reflecting their real lives, which is facilitated by digital technology-these labs respect the digital native student.

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