WEATHER#: Developing New Theatre Ecologies Through a Virtual Venue
WEATHER# is a multimedia performance based on the musical opera composed by Elizabeth Swados in 2014; its aim is to raise knowledge and awareness on climate change and human impact on the natural world. The new production presented in January 2021 develops the original work by using several artistic languages and performative forms in order to create a new and accessible social environment of cultural sharing, and to promote discussion about climate issues. Without following a narrative form, WEATHER# combines chants, dances, and monologues played in several languages in a kaleidoscopic shape, creating a path through the various aspects of the climate change. The performance encompasses a great variety of stories, scientific descriptions, and mythological narrations in a 360-degree virtual space, divided into eleven rooms in which the audience can both attend and interact with the performance. The outcome is a new theatrical venue, shared by performers and audience, and among the members of the audience. This novel vision of the virtual and performative context creates a new social environment and implies a rethinking of both making and experiencing theatre. The physical boundaries of the theatrical space are trespassed and opened to a limitless environment. This peculiarity leads also to a reconsideration of the relationship between artists and spectators in a new and open theatre ecology.
Keywords: theatre ecology; social environment; climate change; 3D theatre; virtual space
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