Digital Theatre Session

Digital Theatre Session

Everyone’s Business – A ‘Digital Interactive theatre’ approach exploring Trauma informed practices in the United Kingdom.

The digital interactive theatre innovation was created by James Wilson with the intention of providing a teaching modality which presents ‘live’ scenario-based performances where audiences can direct the action using polling software. to interact with a. Through the use of a digital interactive theatre approach, service user narratives can be converted in to dramatic form and presented to an audience allowing the opportunity to:

  • Analyze the complexities and motivation behind human behaviour
  • Make judgements about the verbal construction and impact of language
  • Have a democratic/active role in deciding the direction of the play without having to enter on to the stage

The digital interactive theatre approach fills a gap in tackling traditionally difficult to teach, incorporating contemporary health & social care issues in an engaging way which encourages audiences to recognize that ‘choices matter’.

What is Digital Interactive theatre?

The construction of a digital interactive theatre includes the following main components:

  1. Story: The construction of a truthful, evidence-based and contemporary story is the bedrock of a successful digital interactive theatre. Commonly a story will draw upon real service user/carer narratives which are combined with existing health and social care research/evidence. The stories are carefully curated and crafted together so that the complexities of clinical practice can be emphasized to a health care professional audience.
  2. The Pick-a-Path device: After creating an authentic story, it is converted in to a ‘pick-a-path’ format. A pick-a-path mechanism of writing, is a form of storytelling that allows the participant to make decisions for a protagonist and influence the outcome of the story. In this type of narrative, the participant is presented with choices at certain points in the story, and their decision determines the path of the story. Choices leads to a different outcome, creating a unique learning experience for each participant. The pick-a-path mechanism can be found in various mediums, including books, video games, and online stories. It can be popular among participants as it promotes active engagement and encourages creativity and critical thinking.
  3. A ‘live’ theatrical approach: The theatre has long been utilized in human history to tell stories in dramatic form, assist with problem-solving, encourage catharsis and hold a mirror up to society without being individually accusatory. The live aspect of theatre allows the story to be ‘shown’, lending voice, observable action, heightened personal resonance and present connections to situations. Actors are recruited and led through the rehearsals. Live scenario-based performance provides an engaging experience while having the opportunity to observe and consider the challenges faced by a service user/carer
  4. Electronic voting system: Prior to the commencement of the performance, the audience will be set-up with an electronic voting system. The electronic voting system assists the ‘Pick-a-Path’ device by allowing the participants to democratically decide on the direction of the play. At pre-selected points during the live theatrical performance the actors will pause and ask the audience to decide. The audience will be presented with options via the electronic voting system and will democratically vote on the direction they would like to see enacted. The vote is decided by the ‘will of the majority’ and the rehearsed actors will immediately show the result of the decision.
  5. Facilitated discussion: At the conclusion of the play the actors engage in a facilitated discussion with the audience exploring the insights gained from the depiction of the story.

The audience can expect to watch a live theatrical presentation with the invitation to engage in pick-a-path moments using the electronic voting system.

The theme for this presentation is trauma-informed practice. The titled digital interactive theatre ‘Everyone’s Business’ follows the daily activity of Sam, a doctor who is confronted with a myriad of challenging situations associated with dealing with psychological trauma. Sam will be looking to the audience to help them navigate through the complexities they faces. As health and social care workers…Do we recognize that trauma is ’Everyone’ Business’?