Introduction to interactive performance

Bear in mind that the thoughts on this page are my perspectives on interactive performance. There are other definitions and perspectives out there that are completely different and equally valid.

What is interactive performance?
Interactive performance is any performed experience in which audience members become co-creators of a performed experience, through the facilitation of trained inter-actors. Interactive performance is a form of participatory entertainment, but it also has applications in training, education, and simulation.

What is an inter-actor?
An inter-actor is a person trained in the skills of acting, improvisation, story structure, social psychology, and technology for the purpose of facilitating a spect-actor’s capacity to play. While inter-actors are often performers, they are also writers, directors, designers, technicians.

What is a spect-actor?
A spect-actor is an unrehearsed participant who becomes a co-creator of the story through active participation as a character. Often, spect-actors become the lead character, driving the story through their behaviors and choices. The term “spect” is often used as a shortened form of the word. (It is not pronounced “spec.”)

What is the purpose of interactive performance?
The purpose of interactive performance is to empower participants to play to the top of their capacities within fictional experiences. Because the objective is empowerment, interactive performance does not place spects in the role of “victim.” (e.g. Punk’d or Candid Camera), nor does it make them “living props” to be used by performers. Good interactive performance results in spects discovering new power within themselves through the process of playing in fictional narratives.

What are some examples of interactive performance?
Interactive performance is still very much on the cutting edge of popular culture. Some references that communicate the idea of interactive performance can be found in movies like The Game, The Truman Show, The Man Who Knew Too Little.

Have more questions?
Send me an email. I love talking shop.

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