Re-inventing the Black Box Theatre

Lee, Mi Suk
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I propose the creation of a Re-Invented Black Box Theatre on the premise that the current black box theatre is no longer living to its fullest potential as a small intimate theatre. This Re-Invented Black Box is a space where audience, performer, and dramatized subject is successively integrated with the external world. This type of theatre is an attempt to utilize elements of the original Black Box Theatre – the level of intimacy between audience, performer, and drama – and synthesize it with mediated levels of outside influences and environment. As a result, this will cause the audience and performer to be keenly aware that the drama presented has no independent reality in some fantasy world. By doing this, the mind is kept in the present with full analytic faculties to determine solutions for correlative problems that might actually exist in the real world. The architecture of theatre is key in determining the rapport with the audience, the perception they will have, and the level of critical engagement they will have with the material presented. Currently, the delineation of the audience and performer via the elevated proscenium, changing stage props, and darkened theatre hall creates a perfect environment for the audiences’ mind to slip into a fantasy world. The creation of the more intimate ‘Black Box’ theatre, was designed to remedy the ‘psychic’ distance between audience, performer, and the drama being presented. However, this evolution still remained ineffective to a certain degree, since the darkened room and intimate black box theatre hall separated the audience, performers, and drama from the external reality that existed in the outside world. Such isolation of the entire theatre experience still allowed the audiences’ mind to slip into a distant fantasy world, where the mind cannot completely disassociate real from performance. Most importantly, however, this means that this proposed Re-Invented Black Box Theatre has both new utility and new aesthetic contributions and value to theatre, architecture, and the society for which it comments upon.
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