Online Theatrical Performances

26th January 2010 by Maura McHugh

The New York Times features an article about a new pay-for-view online service called OnTheBoards.tv. Its mission is to provide a platform for progressive contemporary performances from around the world.

Lane Czaplinski, the artistic director of On the Boards, also hopes to raise larger questions about the ramifications of translating live art onto the screen at a time when society is increasingly gravitating toward mediated experiences.

“What our culture cares about, it tends to record and distribute,” Mr. Czaplinski said during a recent panel discussion at Performance Space 122, a New York partner of OntheBoards.tv. He pointed to sports and pornography, to titters from the industry crowd. “The live artist in a theater is still paramount. But we’re in a shifting world.”

The Cinderella simile is an apt one for contemporary performing artists, who typically get scant recognition or compensation for their toils. Documentation of the quality Mr. Daniels provides is prohibitively expensive ($10,000 to $15,000), resulting in paltry archival options and little hope of a wider audience for shows that take months or years to develop only to disappear after limited runs.

“What we’re doing is creating the live-art equivalent of a museum catalog,” Sarah Wilke, managing director for On the Boards, said. “The world is definitely moving toward a wider view of experience. I think the arts are in danger of losing market share if we don’t provide a parallel experience.”

Write a Comment