Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Planning for a Playwright

Benjamin Franklin was once quoted as saying;

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail-

If I am honest there has been some procrastination, this however, has been more out of the fear of what I am about to take on. I have a habit of sometimes being a busy fool, and can find myself being a ‘media powerhouse’ churning out content that I may not use or need. And the question is; is this content produced relevant? What am I trying to convey & say?

My first meeting with my supervisors, Ken and Nick, I didn’t feel prepared. I had all of these thoughts and ideas of how I wanted the King Lear to be filmed, however, I didn’t have a plan and this was the problem. My mind was awash with thoughts but no conceit narrative of the final project.

They questioned what the narrative flow was it going to be? Who were the people I was following? And what was it specifically I was trying to cover. From the conversation I formed a basic mindmap and outline of the themes and content that we had discussed.

So I have to have a plan! If I reflect my feelings and approaches the last few months. I have had to get a full appreciation of what the project is about, I have had to be patient with the curators in their own planning and I have to understand what King Lear themes and subjects are. From this discussion I created a basic narrative workflow on the areas that I was going to start with.


Going through this process, I identified that I didn’t really have a true grasp of what King Lear was about.

And then my washing machine broke…… ( this is a key part of understanding Lear)

Tom, doesn’t live to far from myself, and on that following Sunday he kindly allowed me to throw in a couple a loads of laundry. While this was happening, I asked him if he had a DVD copy of Lawrence Olivier performance of King Lear, to which he had.  Luckily from knowing Tom, I knew that he would start to naturally analyse the performance and start talking about the project, so I brought along a Zoom H6 and recorded this discussion.

What happened over that 2 hour period was in an in-depth analysis of the King Lear. Who Lear was as a character & King, the narrative and subplots that Shakespeare had devised together to create this world and where Shakespeare was in career wise, life & political climate at the time.

Tom fast forward to specific key acts & scene, describing the dynamics of the family politics and dynamics; the layered themes of love, power, control and fear. How King Lear as a play is reflective of the current political and social climate. This specific soundbite discusses the madness of Lear and the themes that Shakespeare was writing about.

Lears Madness & Shakespeares Forgiveness- Soundbite.


I know that building a project like Klynt takes planning and within the construction there has to be fluidity to the media contexts, narrative and usability. The beauty of Klynt is it allows for the producer to place and create various forms of media within the platform. Therefore there needs to be structure to this. In many ways Klynt gives the opportunity to share many stories and information in one single frame, whether this content is; Image, sound, film and articles, this becomes very interesting as a documentary filmmaker to use as it is a layered approach in construction.

From the original outline and another discussion with Ken, I have now started to plot how the project may look on Klynt with the Areas, Subareas and prospectus content.

So firstly I start with a homepage and from this there will be three subsections that focus on the following;

  • Telepresence Curators
    • Tom – Shakespeare
    • Mikko- 21st Century Technology: Telepresence for Rehearsal
    • Tiina- Communication & Language


  • Online Week- Following three students
  • Regan
  • Cordillia
  • Lear


  • Finland Performance Week
  • Students journey.

Within this very simple outline, I can  build upon the specific subjects and areas. Themes such as;

  • How students relate to the context of the play within the telepresence experience.
  • Exploring new methods of rehearsal to define their personal experience of theatre practice.
  • How this level of immersive practice impacts their connections and world experiences.

Ken also got me to consider: What will it look like? What are the colours, the font, the movement & sound?. All of these things have to be thought out and planned for.  Thus far I have managed to find a music producer and musician to produce with, Chris Wood who is another masters student. We have discussed using Finnish folk music sampled with renaissance period music with a 21st century twist, if that makes sense to anyone. However either which way, in my minds-eye I can see and hear what King Lear will look like. I know what type of content I want to produce and the considerations that I am making for collating a media artifact that assists their story.

This blog is just the premise to what the project will consist of. Further research needs to be considered, along with methodologies, ethics and practice. My research for this project will focus on the following;

  • Shakespeare & Jacobean theatre- Politics & Performance
  • Visual Anthropology- Approaches, Methods & Ethics
  • 21st Century Technologies- Telepresence for 21st century education.

Following this I will discuss my methodologies and approaches from the production to the final product being made in Klynt. From taking an anthropological approach to King Lear, I will be able to reflect fully on the experience of the students and from the project itself.

My discussion at the end will explore the themes mentioned in my research and methodologies. It will also be a time to reflect on the subject matter, to see what is not being seen and to explore an experiences that can be learned from, to evolve in the future. As it is an anthropological approach, it also means that I have to look at my own professional practice.

How have I developed?

What have I learned about myself on this journey?

And what can be taken from this experience to evolve?

My next step is to finally meet with the students this week and introduce myself……





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