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Intimacy and Depth in Theatre


The distance between an actor and their audience can have considerable impact on the audience’s emotional involvement with the drama. In theatre, when an actor stands some distance away from the audience both intimacy and connection can be lost because of the depth of the space between the audience and the action. In film, that issue is not present because of camera shots such as close ups that can minimize the distance between the audience and the actor. By combining theatre and film through the use of live video and projections on stage we can be provided with a solution to this undesirable loss of intimacy in theatre. By integrating filmic techniques into theatre, we are able to use cameras to zoom in on an actor who could be standing far away from the audience and project the resulting imagery onto a new surface at a larger scale. The face of the actor could now be 30 feet tall allowing the audience to see all the subtleties in the actors’ expressions and emotions, something we would have struggled to see without the help of the live video projections. By using these techniques, we have regained our connection and intimacy with the actor and the ability to see the minor changes in expression, the tilt of the eyebrow, the blush in the cheeks and the water in their eyes. This outweighs the notion that they are now represented as a giant digital collection of pixels on a solid and static surface.

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