How has the evolution of technology impacted the production of modern theatricals at Broadway and other venues?
When it comes to performing arts, the role of technology needs to be examined from a new perspective. Technology and innovation has driven the market for goods, apparel, information technology, logistics, sports, and many other areas. While manufacturing and other sectors are highly automated through technology and the need for skilled workers is reduced, the same cannot be said in performing arts such as the theater and music (Symonds, 2019). According to Hillman-McCord (2017, in the field of dramatics, human skill, long hours of practice and honing acting, dancing, and instrument playing is still mandatory. Technology can at the most provide training and prompts. Good acting, singing and dramatics still depend on people and their skills, and this paper does not attempt to teach acting and singing. However, technology has helped in other aspects such as production, lighting, special effects, sound effects, stage setting, recording, projection, training, relay and transmission, and other aspects. Digital technology has helped to ease some of the manual and time consuming activities in these areas. This paper examines the manner in which technology has impacted the production of modern theatricals. Case studies of popular plays are used to explain the impact of technology in the areas of lighting, stage setting, and special effects.
A brief review is presented of the theory behind theater and its components, and this knowledge is important in answering the research question. According to Carlson (2018), with its origins in pre-Greek civilizations, theater attempts to recreate dramatized events in the form of plays, creating a spectacle through acting, singing, and other performing arts. Classical Greek dramas were bare, often without the use of props, subsisting on dialogue delivery and powerful acting, and different genres such as tragedy, satyr play, and tragicomedy. Over the centuries, this performance transformed into different art expressions such as modernism, impressionism, expressionisms, experimental, post modern, post colonial, musicals, and so on. Theater also production as a separate part of drams and saw introduction of musicians who played background music, background and foreground sets that were changed to create a different environment, lighting effects for day and night scenes, sounds to highlight suspense, drama, fear, tragedy, and musicals. Of interest to this paper is the production of drama. Whether it is ancient drama of the Greek civilization or a modern Broadway musical, the intention of the drama is to entertain the audience, keep them engaged, and create a web of pseudo-realism that connects the audience with the actors and the plot.
Thompson (2012) explains that it is important to understand the differences in audience tastes and liking, and these have a direct link to the research question. In mod...