28 Mar The Video Wall As A Dramatic Tool
There are many ways in which a video wall can be incorporated into theatrical drama.
A Video Wall Can Be Programmed To Display Backgrounds
It can function as the backdrop to a scene. Some plays have many scenes so a video wall can be programmed to display backgrounds with the result that there is less time between scenes spent preparing them. This minimising of disruption will enhance the audience’s viewing pleasure.
The Video Wall Can Also Play A Role Within The Drama
The video wall can also play a role within the drama itself. For example, it could be used to show a character or characters in a different time of their lives. Samuel Beckett’s play, Krapp’s Last Tape, has the character, Krapp, listening to recordings he made with a tape player as a younger man.
If Beckett had written the play today, he might have made use of AV technology and especially the video wall to display the character in the past.
Indeed, Beckett was such an experimental dramatist that it is likely he would have made much use of AV technology if he was writing today.
If The Video Wall Had Been Available To The Greek Tragedians
Ancient Greek tragedy would have benefited hugely from AV technology. Once a year a festival of drama was held in the theatre of Dionysus in Athens. The theatre held about 17,000 spectators. In order for them to be seen, the actors wore masks and moved with expanded gestures. If the video wall had been available to the Greek tragedians, they would have used it to display the dramatic action and dialogue of the characters so that they could be seen and heard by the whole audience.
A Mixture of Film & Theatre
The video wall can display either live or recorded action and dialogue. Introducing the video wall to dramatic works allows a mixture of film and theatre. There is much for the dramatist to play around with. To return to Beckett, there is a starkness to much of his drama which could be enhanced through use of the video wall. Many of his plays have a powerful visual impact which could only be heightened through use of this technology.
Dramatists Should Make Use of Whatever Tools Are Available
The interplay between characters on the stage and whatever is represented on the ‘big screen’ would make for effective theatre. Dramatists should make use of whatever tools are available to them, both traditional and modern. The video wall is one such tool. This powerful technology can contribute to making a satisfactory play if put in the hands of a creative, open minded playwright.
The Video Wall’s Versatility
Much of modern art makes use of AV technology very successfully. Introducing it to theatre and drama seems like a natural step, one which many playwrights and directors have, no doubt, already taken. The video wall’s versatility means that it can open new possibilities for drama and new ways to arrest and captivate the audience.
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