Social Media as Theatre Stage: Aesthetics, Affordances and Interactivities

  • Bree HadleyEmail author


This chapter considers the ways in which social media is being deployed to produce, document and disseminate mainstage and independent theatre works. It examines examples from the USA, the UK, Europe and Australia—streamed performances of Shakespeare by the National Theatre, streamed performances of contemporary plays such as The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by the National Theatre of Wales, the use of networked, telematic, participatory, augmented and virtual reality themes and/or techniques in works such as Adam Cass’sILove You Bro, Liesel Zink’s Various Selves, The Builders Association’s Continuous City, Paul Sermon’s Telematic Dreaming, Blast Theory’s Desert Rain, Upton’s Ritual Circle, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Mudlark’s Such Tweet Sorrow, RSC and Google Creative Lab’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreaming, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, New Paradise Laboratories’ Fatebook: Avoiding Catastrophe One Party At A time, La Pocha Nostra’s Ethno-Cyberpunk Trading Post, Wafaa Bilal’s Domestic Tension , Brian Lobel’s Purge , Sarah Rodigari’s Reach Out Touch Faith, @Platea’s Co-Modify, Jeffrey Cranor’s tweet plays and Ai Wei Wei’s self-performances online, along with online theatre platforms and archives such as Upstage, Waterwheel, the Hemispherica archive, the Anarcha anti-archive and the AusStage database. The breadth of these practices, and of the relations between producers, performers and spectators that play out in them, provides the basis for an analysis of why so many mainstage companies still tend to use social media theatre as transmedia marketing for their core programmes rather than use it their core programmes in the waythat independent, activist and political artists do.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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