This event spans multiple dates:
19 May 2023 16:00 - 23:00 Sidgwick Site, tbc
20 May 2023 09:00 - 23:00 Sidgwick Site, tbc

Description

Memories are critical to the ways we narrativise ourselves and our relationships, but they are often contested, unstable, and fallible. The digital seemingly stands in contrast: with memory referring to literal hard storage and a codified process of acquiring, storing, retaining, and later retrieving information. But what else can memory mean when we offload and upload moments to Notes apps and Image folders and Instagram stories? We catalog ourselves on Facebook and MySpace and GeoCities as if the archives are stable. We think about these technologies as lossless ways of preserving moments, not partners in the process of exchange.

Where is the boundary between our memories, community memories, and our digital selves? How much of ourselves do we offload onto devices and technologies? How much is uploaded to us in return? Is deleting a file the same as forgetting? Do our devices become a part of ourselves? And how much of our memories are now shaped by these connections?

Why Digital Theatre?

Lockdowns underscored the importance of digital/hybrid work to reach audiences – and offered a platform for more experimental forms that are increasingly finding a space in theatres keen to explore their potential.

While digital technology is increasingly embedded in our day-to-day lives, collaborations between technologists and theatremakers remain largely unexplored, particularly for small-scale productions. This project is an open-ended experiment asking us to re-examine practices and traditions of memory allocation. Part hackathon, part 24-hour play.

What is the hackathon?

We are inviting teams to develop 5-10 minute technically-driven plays around the theme of memory allocation. The production and development will follow a hackathon timeline as it allows free experimentation and aligns with a 24-hour play structure. Every stage of development will happen concurrently for an energised exploration that will culminate in a one-off performance.

Convenors

  • Claire Carroll is a writer and PhD candidate in Digital Humanities. She holds a BA in English and Computer Science from Yale University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of St Andrews.
  • Ben Anderson is a director and PhD candidate in English. He is a Junior Associate at the King’s Head Theatre. He holds a BA from the University of St Andrews in Art History and English Literature and an MA in Theatre and Performance from King’s College London.

Judges

  • Caroline Bassett is the Director of Cambridge Digital Humanities. Her latest book, Furious: Technological Feminism and Digital Futures, was co-authored with Sarah Kember and Kate O’Riordan.
  • Giulia Carla Rossi is the Curator for Digital Publications at the British Library and works on their Emerging Formats Project.

Additional judges to be announced

Application Deadline

10 April 2023 at 23:59

Support

The theatre hackathon is supported by CDH. We welcome mentorship and sponsorship from interested organisations; please get in touch with the organisers at cec205@cam.ac.uk and bda27@cam.ac.uk.

Programme

Friday 19 May 2023
16:00 - 18:00

Cambridge-based teams can arrive at Robinson College

18:00 - 19:00

Hybrid meet and greet at Robinson College and on Discord

19:00 - 19:15

Development/writing kickoff on Discord

19:00 - 23:00

Organisers and mentors stay online for Q&A and support

Saturday 20 May 2023
9:00 - 10:00

Participants arrive at the Sidgwick site for catered coffee and breakfast, followed by teams working in breakout rooms

10.00 - 10.30

Health and Safety walkthrough of the Judith Wilson studio (mandatory for directors)

10:30 - 12:30

Tech testing in the theatre

12.00 - 13.00

Lunch

13.00 - 18.00

Each team will be allocated rehearsal and run through time in the studio and will otherwise be able to work in their breakout room.

17:00 - 18:00

Dinner will be available in the lounge

18:00 - 18:30

Studio cleared for house open

19.00 - 20.00

Performances

20:00 - 20:30

Q&A discussion

20:30 - 20:45

Judges announce winners

21.00 - 23.00

Participants are welcome to mingle at The Anchor pub

Call for Participants

Interested creators are welcome to apply for roles as developers, directors, writers, actors, designers, and engineers. You can apply as an individual or as a complete team and are welcome to hold multiple roles on the same team. Teams will meet virtually in advance of the hackathon.

Please fill out the application form. If you have any questions please contact the organisers at cec205@cam.ac.uk and bda27@cam.ac.uk.

Accessibility

If travel to Cambridge or the English Faculty is prohibitive, writer and developer roles could be carried out exclusively on Discord. Please get in touch if there are any additional ways we can accommodate your participation.

Application Deadline: 10 April 2023 at 23:59

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