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Professor April Sweeney performs in Distancia – from her living room

By Matt Hames on September 23, 2013

April Sweeney, associate professor of English in the University Theater, is in a performance called Distancia, which premiered last week in Buenos Aires.

Sweeney’s part of the performance happened from her living room.

Distancia involves a live performance plus the web-streaming of four actresses in different cities to a live audience in Buenos Aires.

Written and directed by Matías Umpierrez, the performers who joined Sweeney were Marina Bellati, Anne Weber, and Marie Piemontese.

According to the show’s website, Distancia reveals how theater can enter the virtual world and overcome borders. With the Internet, the stage is limitless, but the expectations are bigger. Sweeney added that the performance “is really an exploration of the possibilities of the dramaturgy of technology.”

Performing for a camera isn’t new for Sweeney, but performing without feedback is a different experience. “I am behind a screen, speaking into a green light, 7,000 kilometers away, completely aware of my part and frame. However, the excitement and faith that people will lean forward in their seat still remains.”

Adding to the pressure of the performance is the fact that it comes from her living room, so she is responsible for framing the shots. “Not only do I have to perform,” says Sweeney, “I have to set up the camera for the scenes.”

To learn more about the Colgate Theater Department, visit its website.

Your turn: Where do you think technology will take art? Offer an answer below in comments.

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