Digitally Charged is coming up this weekend, our innovative new festival of online performance work.
The festival was born during the COVID-19 lockdown and was an answer to the demand we had from young and emerging artists to make new work and have a platform to share it. We caught up with Andre Pink the Progression Producer who curated the festival, about how it came to be.
“Digitally Charged was born out of a question: has theatre been dead since lockdown? The edifices have been obviously shut and have been dealing with their financial survival. There have been shows available to watch online that were live streamed or recorded in the past and new online work: mostly talking heads, monologues and storytelling. Was that it?
Most drama schools and universities reacted quickly to the virus and moved their classes online. Students located everywhere carried on making performance work together via Zoom or Google Meets. Plays were rehearsed and projects were devised from scratch and presented via digital platforms. These organisations, their staff and students pioneered new ways to make and present performance online. Was there more work out there outside these institutions?
An open call was sent out, we were inundated by proposals… Some of the work sits awkwardly on the screen, phone or tablet and craves for the sharing in the same physical space. Other work is instigating and embraces technology and creative usages of different platforms - Zoom, Insta, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube - producing hybrid work that is neither theatre nor film or tv series; some call it cyperformance, digital performance or web theatre. Some of this work deserves to be presented to broader audiences since after this crisis these experiments will resonate in the future leaving a legacy, we will embrace technology and live performance in ways we have not anticipated before, thus Digitally Charged.”
Progression Producer and Digitally Charged Curator