The two-year applied research project European Theatre Lab: Drama goes digital set out to research a digital strategy for the major state-funded theatrical institutions of continental Europe with the goal of expanding access to the arts via new technology. Under the leadership of the European Theatre Convention (ETC), the cross-sectoral project united artists and public theatres from seven countries with research institutions and researchers from the fields of technology, science, media and the performing arts. Digital Theatre. A Casebook is about sharing knowledge with the creative community; it is an invitation for artists, scientists, theatre professionals, and cultural and societal decision makers to learn from our experiences.
What does theatre need to remain relevant in society in the twenty-first century? Both as an art form and a public cultural institution? What conditions for digital innovation in theatre must be met? What skills and partnerships are needed? How far can we stretch existing infrastructures and working mechanisms to embrace cross-sectoral collaborations? How can we tackle urgent social issues and use the live character of theatre, aided by digital tools, to create opportunities for intercultural dialogue while creating a more inclusive notion of theatre and community throughout the EU? How can digital technology add something to the magic of a theatrical moment?
Guided by an interdisciplinary advisory board of experts, we formed three creative teams of our theatre partners, who in an OpenLab process tested new methods for using technology in creative work and outreach. The European Theatre Lab: Drama goes digital resulted in seven OpenLabs, three new creative collaborations, two conferences, one showcase, and new performances that tested and applied new technology at theatres in eight countries.
The white paper Drama goes digital vs Theatre invades digital presents suggestions and recommendations we identified for publicly funded theatres, policymakers and funders on the local, national and European level to tackle challenges for theatres while addressing digital transformation. This work would not have been possible without the incredible commitment of all our partners willing to take risks as well as the European Commission, who believed in our idea and provided the necessary support for us to engage in this unique international cross-sectoral artistic and technical research project. Thank you!
ETC Executive Director