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Theatre and the Digital Native

Soto-Morettini, Donna



Sidney Homan


Much of the discussion currently about generational differences between what has been called the “net generation” or “digital natives” and those raised before/during the rise of internet technology centers on how a generation of people who have been raised spending a significant amount of time in interactive virtual worlds might differ from the generations before them. My recent theatre experiences have prompted me to think about whether live theatre will find an audience amongst the current net generation and all those that will follow. The scope of this consideration is of such a scale that I must be modest about what I can cover here. I want to explore two questions in turn, and I do this in the knowledge that while it is too soon to answer them, it is most certainly not too soon to raise them:
1. Is the rising number of hours young people spend in the virtual world doing more than changing their relationship to the real world? Might it, in fact, be rewiring their brains? If so, what does that mean for the future of live theatre?
2. Has heavy internet usage eroded empathy? If so, what does that mean for the future of live theatre?

Publication Date Aug 18, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 30, 2022
Publisher Routledge
Pages 158-165
Book Title Why the Theatre
Chapter Number 21
ISBN 0367861887
Public URL