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Theatres in the Dark: COVID-19s Impact on Digital Performance, Advocacy, and the Online Public Sphere in the UK Theatre Industry

Maples, Holly and Rowson, James (2021) 'Theatres in the Dark: COVID-19s Impact on Digital Performance, Advocacy, and the Online Public Sphere in the UK Theatre Industry.' In: Krpič, Tomaž, (ed.) Theatre and Performance During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia (DGKTS), The Festival Borštnikovo Srečanje (SNG Maribor) and the Faculty of Social Sciences Publishing House (Ljubljana University).

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Abstract

During the 2020-2021 pandemic, the internet became an expansive terrain for the production of new hybrid performance models as well as a powerful tool for advocacy, activism, and skills-sharing in a time of social isolation. This chapter examples the blossoming of online platforms for the creation of new work, streaming, and industry-based support groups caused by the closures of the UK Theatres due to COVID-19 government restrictions. The movement to go online for members of the theatre community during the pandemic expand not only the way the creative industries engage with the public sphere, but also raise fundamental questions of the gap between live and virtual performance and what it means to be a theatre worker in the time of industry closure. By combining media reports, websites, and online platforms with personal testimony taken from a series of 100 interviews conducted with independent theatre workers from our Economic and Social Research Council funded study on COVID-19s impact on theatre artists in the UK, Freelancers in the Dark, the following chapter investigates the UK theatre industry’s use of digital and online space for community-building, support, and artistic innovation.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > East 15 Acting School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2021 13:45
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30257

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