Mind The Lag

September 2022

Deviser, Technical Director, Performer

A multi-sensory performance piece that explores (dis)connection in the digital age, staged in two live locations and cyberspace.

Welcome Avatar, to your Cortana daily briefing.

It is a comfortable 23-degree. Light and breezy. A beautiful new beginning. What shall we accomplish today?

MeatSPACE Theatre presents Mind The Lag, a multisensory performance piece that explores (dis)connection in the digital age.

Utilizing international performance spaces and mediated images, a digital avatar is born out of cyberspace and into the meatspace. Can an ‘avatar’ achieve agency outside the computerized world?

As the audience watches these avatars acquire ever more human processing power, will they escape the productivity the matrix demands, or will they discover agency to escape to the unknown? New skin, new muscles, new limbs, a spine and a semi-functional digestive system are not the only things our avatars will discover as they explore captivity, consciousness, and connection.

Watch a recorded version of the live-streamed show on https://meatspacetheatre.com

Over the last year and a half, we all found ways to move our lives to the digital sphere, embracing the monumental and the mundane on the screen to co-exist with our pixelated relationship. During my MA at Central, I was always asking questions about our digital lives, ghosts in our rooms, zoom calls that sound more like a seance... We started devising our final graduate showcase along this line of enquiry and stumbled upon the word "meatSPACE", used by cyberpunks in early days of the internet to differentiate "real life" from cyberspace. A phrase they would use then would be "I'll meet you in the meatspace" which... Is starting to make a comeback to our present day lives as well.

For the performance, I took on the roles of technical director, deviser and performer. It wasn't easy juggling all these three responsibilities (and many more), but I had a stellar team consisting of the other half of meatSPACE Theatre – Laura Lounge – and a stellar team of collaborators from Central. I had a lot of learnings – personal, professional, technical – during the making of this show and it was truly a "risk" I feel good about (in hindsight, of course!). The show was performed in two live locations, wherein we used live cameras and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and audio/video filters to stream it live for an online audience at the same time.

Production History

This show was devised from June to August 2021 in London and online. It was performed at the Camden People's Theatre and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in September 2021.

This show was performed under the Form(at) Festival, that showcases work made by students on ATP (Advanced Theatre Practice) course at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Now in its second year, the Form(at) Festival is embracing 'Performance For The Present' as a theme for this edition, with a hybrid approach to making work in highly dynamic circumstances. Learn more about the Form(at) Festival and other performances at www.formatfestival.co.uk

Cast & Creative Team

DEVISING Gaurav Singh Nijjer / Laura Lounge / Arthur C. H. Pai / Hector Huang

PERFORMANCE Arthur C. H. Pai / Gaurav Singh Nijjer / Laura Lounge

DIRECTION Laura Lounge

TECHNICAL DIRECTION Gaurav Singh Nijjer

SCRIPT Hector Huang / Laura Lounge

COSTUME Esme Lowrey

LIGHTING Carly Altberg / Mari Katsuno

SCENIC Mari Katsuno / Laura Lounge

SOUND / SCENT Laura Lounge

MOVEMENT DIRECTION Antonietta Mazzei

PRODUCTION SUPPORT Anna Smith / Hector Huang

ACADEMIC MENTORSHIP Ada Mukhina

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS Christina Appana / Carly Altberg / Ensemble

DEVISING CONSULTING Alex Hutson / Sam Kioni Roberts / Dana McMillan / Esme Lowrey / Carly Altberg / Mari Katsuno / Antonietta Mazzei

SPECIAL THANKS Lynne Kendrick / Nohar Lazarovich / Anna Smith / Alain Fielden / Maja Milatovic-Ovadia / Alex Hutson / Nick Wood / Joseph Parslow / Malachy Orozco / TSD & Media Department at RCSSD / CLUNK Theatre / Trevor White / Lauren Stone-Symes / Pei-Yu Huang / Advanced Theatre Practice Class of 2021/22

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