"Pew Pew! Musical Theatre in the Electronic World: Performance, Depiction, and Reception" (10/15/13; ATHE, 7/24-27/14)

full name / name of organization: 
Whit Emerson
contact email: 

"Pew Pew! Musical Theatre in the Electronic World: Performance, Depiction, and Reception."
Proposed Session for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's 2014 Conference
DREAM ACTS: Performance as Refuge, Resistance, and Renewal
July 24th-27th, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ

Anywhere humans are present, there is theatre. As we move into the virtual world, our culture has continued to evolve its sense of performance and theatre, but the in-person and on-screen worlds continue to intersect in meaningful ways, reflecting and feeding each other. As two distinctively modern cultural outlets that have communities of passionate but sometimes marginalized audiences, musical theatre and video games can be examined alongside and in light of one another, providing the opportunity to invigorate and inform both media.

The organizer invites traditional conference-length papers as well as brief presentations. This session will examine the performance, depiction, and reception of musical theatre and opera in video games from a variety of perspectives. Papers and presentations may consider issues such as: individual structure vs. collective structure, audience interactivity in performance, the effect of marginalized fans, immersive performance as a refuge from reality, musical theatre tropes in video games, adaptation of musical theatre into video games, comparing illusions in both musicals and video games, game theory, and the effect of audience reception and refuge on both musical theatre and video games. In addition, cultural norms are often performed in both interactive media and musical theatre and material discussing the disruption or maintenance of cultural norms is welcomed. Presentations might consider cast or production structural crossover between musical theatre and video games. Papers or presentations that explore this topic from any cultural, performative, or theoretical perspective are welcome.

Please send an abstract with a 250 word limit and brief bio to Whit Emerson (wjemerson@gmail.com) by October 15th. Include any AV requests in your email. Feel free to email Whit with questions. For information about ATHE, please visit http://www.athe.org/