Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dark Play: An Interactive Play


Dark Play was one of the most interactive plays I've every watched. The story of Dark Play teaches us about the dangers of Internet chat rooms if one is not very careful. According to Prof Pat, Dark Play uses an interactive storytelling tool called isadora, a graphic programming environment that provides interactive control for digital videos. My favorite parts of the play are the different interactions between the actors and digital media and the ways the actors presented themselves.

First of all, the actors presented themselves in a way where we feel like a part of the story. For example, one of the characters, Mrs. Spiegel, begins to tell the audience/class:

"The best theater takes the audience on a journey into the deepest, most dangerous regions of the human soul. At the end of the journey, the audience has faced that darkness, that danger and can see the darkness and danger lurking in their own souls and actively take steps to change it."

At first, I didn't quite understand her statement. However, later in the play, I figured out that the "danger" stuff she was talking about was true to both the story and in real life. Many of us don't consider the dangers of instant messaging chat rooms, and by watching this play, we are more aware of what can happen in reality.

In addition, Dark Play had a lot of important monologues by the main character, Nick. These monologues provided multiple tangents to the story, making the audience wonder what would happen if the characters chose one choice or another. An important monologue of the play was when Nick continually inquires: "do I tell her the truth or do I do what I do so well? Make shit up," leading him to keep on stating "The question, the choice!" To me, the reason to why this quote was important because it leaves the audience wondering whether Nick should tell his girlfriend the truth that he was involved in cyber sex or if he should just lie and "make shit up." This kind of monologue gives us the idea for our stories in the future: That we should have a main statement that involves two important tangents to the story.

Most importantly, I liked how the story interacted with the different digital images and media. Unlike traditional plays, Dark Play portrays the settings as well as most of the characters' stories by the use of various digital images and movements. It's pretty cool, because it reminded me of how Internet users design their stories on YouTube, Photoshop, and other digital elements we use in our group projects. The correlation of digital images in the story also added color to the play, as well as give the audience ideas of how each of the settings looked like rather then having to imagine the settings.

All in all, Dark Play is the most unique, creative play that I've ever seen. I hope that in the future we will make more theatrical plays by correlating digital media with different stories. I believe that digital media will continue to create more interactive plays, as well as allow us to even participate in creating digital media for that specific play. As far as plays here in UF, Dark Play is a play that every student and faculty member can truly enjoy and participate in.

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