As part of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) 2023 Conference and Stage Expo, Stephen Chu, Ennead’s Performing Arts Center Leader participated in a panel discussion, "How Multi-Cultural Performance Can Be Enhanced in Variable Spaces," with Steve Friedlander, Theater Consultant; Tara Moses, Native American Director; and Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, Japanese Stage Set Designer.
The discussion covered the unique needs of traditional forms of theater and stage configuration, audience size and relationship to the stage, and how the character of the theater interior impacts performance. By reconfiguring architectural and staging elements, such as walls, seating, and stages we can make a space welcoming and supportive of non-western modes of performance. In the same physical space, we can create a variety of configurations that alter the performer/audience relationship and accommodate the presentation styles of many cultures, and have an end-stage or proscenium for traditional western drama or musicals if desired. This can be done quickly and efficiently with the right combination of architecture and theatre technology, allowing college, university, and professional theatre departments to broaden their appeal to students, faculty, creators, and audiences.
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