Keywords: theatre and globalization, globalization and theatre
Globalisation refers to the increasing relationship and integration of individuals socially, financially, and culturally through increasing interconnectedness, where, theatres are also damaged by. Performances originally in English are now performed in multiple languages, allowing other ethnicities surrounding the world to experience enjoying similar theatrical performances. Singapore, a globalised community, contains much cultural variety. Because of the immersed cultural diversity, Singapore wish to expand their theatrical performances, attractive to a broader audience of different civilizations and eventually end up being the 'Broadway of the East'. It's the contention of the essay to analyse the effects of globalisation on theatres via the study of McTheatres, modernism, interculturalism, and the impact of American theater culture on Singapore's theatre culture relating to theatre design.
In the McTheatre franchise, the employees have little if any control over their conditions of work; all the creative decisions were considered years back and are locked down. The choreography is fixed, and the motions are largely dependant on the automated packages and standardized lamps designs, which means that any deviation from the structure risks damage or singing in darkness (Rebellato 2009: 44).
The idea of McTheatre productions are methods of global imperialism. The pro side to this can be discussed when the idea was founded by Cameron Mackintosh through the 1970s when he started out employed in a British theater. After experiencing a "shabby imitation" of your metropolitan original, Mackintosh required audiences all over the world to really have the same high-quality experience instead of a cheap reproduction. However, because of standardization, the virtues of theater are depreciated, like the liveliness, immediacy, and the uniqueness of each performance. "Inside a show like the Lion King, the costumes are the superstars, and the celebrities merely their operators. Whenever we think of the mega musicals, we often think of the brand images: the best eye orphan, a cat's attention, a combined Japanese pictograph/helicopter. The celebrity performers should never be part of the brand image, because in McTheatre even the largest star is replaceable" (Rebellato 2009: 45). Places such as Toronto, NEVADA, Basle, and Denver carry theatres which may have been built designed for these mega musicals. However, they aren't built well acoustically, considering all mega musicals are miked shows. Thus once that one mega musical performance has shifted, the theatre is bound to performances requiring well developed acoustics.
Musical franchises are successful to a certain extent, however they are limited by an English speaking audience. Musicals such as The Lion King and Tarzan however, even though they are global musical theatre strikes, are performed in multiple dialects in order to appeal to a more substantial selection of audience members. Cats have been translated into 10 different dialects such as Japanese, German, and France and The Lion Ruler will be making its first Spanish debut in Madrid on October 21st of 2011 (Cats the Musical 2011; Gans 2011). Apart from mega musicals, past theatrical performances such as Shakespearean works are performed across the world. Variants of Shakespeare's works are also intended to appeal into the audience of the 21st hundred years, for example, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) can be an interactive and funny parody of Shakespeare's takes on where improvisation takes on a huge move. Hence, every performance is never the same and is exclusive.
While older theater acts are adapting to a more modern point of view, new performances are manufactured to relate towards the 21st century audience. "The theater might be considered to donate to the globalization of politics through works that critically represent the workings of globalization. . . " (Rebellato 2009: 9). The musical Avenue Q, is ranked 21st of longest running shows in Broadway history with 2, 534 shows (Avenue Q 2009). The musical, ironically portrayed as a grown-up version of Sesame Road, is not a globalized musical because it has been performed surrounding the world, but also because the musical itself is approximately globalization. Considering its relevance towards the 21st century audience, with the ability to connect with a lot of the world inhabitants. The puppets in the musical goes through stereotypical problems and activities people go through every day, such as, the relationship towards internet within their tune "the internet is made for porn", pokes fun at how the modern day population employs the internet, though not many may confess or adopt the new mentality.
Culture and globalisation moves hand in hand with one another, and theatres are no exception from the interculturalism. Described by nationalists of the Canadian province of Quebec, "interculturalism is the beliefs of exchanges between social groups in a culture. " Theatres specifically have been able to talk about multiple ethnicities with the world for years and years. This by itself is an enormous part on globalisation because different parts of the world are able to experience different civilizations through the proper execution of theatrical shows, whether it might be through dance, operating, and music. "I consider 'theatre' to make reference to all cultural varieties where performers and lively or passive participant-audiences coexist in the same space for a set time" (Knowles 2010: 3). Through the Nara period, the Japanese, Chinese language and Koreans exchanged performance traditions with each other, hence the bukagu court docket boogie and gugaku, the Buddhist processional party play, was eventually integrated with japan culture. Western cultures didn't intermix with the Asian cultures until American and Western invasions in the later 19th century. Ric Knowles makes this aspect in his book Theatre & Interculturalism:
Beginning at the convert of the twentieth hundred years and sustained almost a hundred years, the shingeki (new dilemma) movement noticed a submit Japan to Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Stanislavski, and the performance styles of american naturalism and spoken crisis. Within the first ten years of the twentieth hundred years, in the wake of China's beat in the Sino-Japanese warfare of 1894-5, a similar motion developed in China, essentially through the conscious work of Li Xishuang and Tokyo's Springtime Willow culture, and appointments to the contemporary society by Chinese students who produced the first huaju (spoken crisis) (Knowles 2010: 8-9).
Much like the works from Shakespeare, as mentioned before, it includes come to a point where we have the ability to share knowledge easily around the world, and theatrical performances are also able to be shared with equal amount of convenience.
One of the most popular types of performances known to globalise are circuses. It really is in their character to be mobile and move from spot to place entertaining followers. This causes globalization through culture, ". . . the interconnection of world civilizations, perhaps even the introduction of a 'world culture'" (Rebellato 2010: 5). One of the most world renowned circus even today would be Cirque du Soleil. Actually known as Les chassiers, it was founded by two former block performers in 1984 in Baie-Saint-Paul. It really is now a Canadian entertainment company located in Montral, Quebec, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and streets entertainment" (Cirque du Soleil 2010). Cirque du Soleil has a wide variety of performances, all of which are an integration of circus styles from round the world with its own theme and storyline. They attract people through continuous live music, which allows the performance to be cross ethnical because one does not have to comprehend the language in order to take pleasure from the performance, hence it appeals to everyone and they're able to develop to different cultures surrounding the world.
Cirque du Soleil will not only travel round the world, however they have also still left permanent place ups in different parts of the earth. Las Vegas, US, has the most Cirque du Soleil performances in one area. Shows such as K, LOVE, Mystre, O, Viva ELVIS, and Zumanity are performed to many new audiences because it's in an area of going to tourists from all around the world. ZED Cirque du Soleil is stationed in a theatre build specifically for this performance at Disney Resort in Tokyo, Japan, with seven million people watching this amazing performance every year. Cirque du Soleil has had the opportunity to generate and show a variety of shows, but it couldn't have been done without more than 600 with their performers. (Cirque du Soleil Inc. 2009) Hence, the interconnectedness of culture is shared among performers and audience equally all around the world.
Though almost all of the casts of Cirque du Soleil are trained because of this specialized art, there's also performers who have been past Olympic participants from all over the world. Zoltan Supola, a gold medal gymnast who competed in the Olympic three times, retired in the year 2000 following the Sydney Video games. He landed a job with Cirque du Soleil and became a part of the gravity-defying troupe of performers, which now incorporates a total of 17 former Olympians. Another example is gymnast, Paul Bowler, who works in "Mystre" at the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas after failing woefully to make it with the United kingdom Olympic team in 1996 (Martinez 2011). Shows themselves aren't the sole ones damaged by globalisation, however the people who work within those performances as well. It really is certainly that Cirque du Soleil is one of the very most globalised theatrical shows to have spread from THE UNITED STATES all the way to Asia.
Singapore may be a global community with multiple ethnicities integrated in one city, and because of this, different kinds of theatrical functions dedicated to the different cultures and everything cultures are continuously performed. Singapore is a perfect example of interculturalism on the whole and for theatres. With the quantity of international theatrical performances arriving every few months and with the amount of audiences observing these performances, it is clear that Singapore has embraced the thought of interculturalism within their theatres. That is a country where Western and Asian shows are accepted jointly and appeal to a huge portion of the public, hence Singapore's desire to be considered a global pin point, the 'Broadway of the East' so to speak. As Kenneth Lyen claims:
Yes, Singapore can indeed be the Broadway of the East. We have several unique attributes. Firstly, there's a wealth of stories waiting to be told in the genre of musical theatre. We likewise have a remarkable variety of Asian music, with different rhythms and various instruments. Our talent pool is immense, and mainly untapped. We have not reached the main point where musical theater prohibitively expensive to level (Lyen 2010).
Aside from Singapore attracting theatrical performances from other parts of the world, Singapore themselves want to globalise their own local theatre productions. It is evident how much Traditional western performances have inspired the neighborhood productions. By seeking to maintain a distinctive theme to Singapore, the composition is very much indeed of the american style. A good example of this is actually the musical, Forbidden City. "It's Singapore's most successful musical - first commissioned for the beginning of the Esplanade, now in its third run, greeted with interest by American investors who'd prefer to adjust it for Broadway" (Yi-Sheng 2010). By checking out the fusion of European and Eastern styles, there's a probability for Singaporean theatrical productions to be worldwide and achieve globalisation with the own culture and local acts.
Theatre of the 21st century is influenced by social standing up and social position of the city, hence the look of theatres influence the people's want and reason to attend a performance based on prestige. Theater of Ancient Greece was an open up air, semi-circular layout with only the use of your skene and costumes for visual distinction between character types and landscape (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Edition 2008). It was a location for the gathering of people to enjoy a performance when you are taken to another dimension. The use of lighting was available only through natural lighting; hence shows were casually presented during the daytime. The globalised theater design of the 21st century however, is designed on the theatre experience affected by the modern American level design by using lamps, props, and moveable stage parts. With the discovery of light, theatres became enclosed and shows became a nightly event, which is produces a more formal experience. Now it is a location not only for folks to gather and enjoy a performance, but also a location of prestige. Theatres in general have grown to be a social marker.
The idea of an exposed theater within the new proposed design of the Victoria Theatre located in Singapore is targeted to attract viewers through the take action of relationship or communication with the general public and raise knowing of theatrical performances to help Singapore reach its goal of being the 'Broadway of the East'. The use of an open-air theater and an enclosed theatre mutually is to build two different activities much like the casual experience of Ancient Greece and the greater formal connection with the 21st century.
With modern tools and interconnectedness, theatres has become a huge part of globalisation through the sharing of shows and performers surrounding the world not only through the use of "McTheatres", but also through the creation of fused cultural performances to be able to reach out to a broader audience. Through Traditional western influence, the design of theatres has created a social position through the theater experience. Singapore, being truly a communal marker and huge globalised community, has attracted theatrical performances from across the world to be able to share the multiple civilizations with its local audience, to become another 'Broadway of the East', and create their own theatrical performances as well, such as Forbidden City.