It will take me several days to fully begin to comprehend all the implications of the many great concepts and ideas presented at TEDx Broadway. And I’ll be blogging about them here over the coming weeks.
If I had to condense the entire fantastic day down into one thought however, it would be this – the audience is changing.
We are all digitally connected all the time. We engage our lives in a non-linear way and are more and more seeking entertainment that is similar.
The ability to connect with others who are not with us, via cell phones, is part of the way the new audience engages life and for many, expects life to be lived that way.
It is just as important for them to share the experiences they/we are having with others who are not present, as it is to share them directly with those who are.
And because of the widespread use of games, audiences are more and more used to participating and influencing outcomes rather than just receiving – and this is not just 16-year old boys but women over forty too.
Of course at the center of this discussion is the cell phone and it’s appropriate use before, during and after a performance.
Consider this – teen driving is down. Why? Because they know texting and driving is bad, and they would rather text. Think about the implications of this.
So what is theatre and where is the line between performance and audience?
Once, we all watched theatre in the daylight where we could wave and interact socially with our friends. Opera was once a place to go and be seen as much as it was a place to hear music. It is only the past few hundred years where theatre is something that occurs in a dark room with the lights off.
So perhaps, the audience is always changing. And I ask you, is this a bad thing?