Two innovative ways to fill a theater

In most theaters, people wander to their seat locations, a sometimes awkward way to fill the room. Technology, some brand new, some old, can change that. Segway-Ninebot has just announced a device—a self-balancing, two-wheeled chair—intended as a vehicle to transport people through the streets. This new chair could also be used (we here, now propose) […]

The poetics of theatrical events which never happened (new study)

“I would like to draw attention to the difficulty presented by artifacts of performances that never happened—what I call performance nonevents.” – explains professor Pannill Camp, Associate Professor of Drama, and Chair, Performing Arts Department, at Washington University in St. Louis, US. in a recent essay for the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. “First, […]

Who Might You Meet at the Ig? London’s Pioneering Theatrical Electrician

If you come to the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, you might enjoy chatting with your neighbors, in the audience. Many have done amazing things. In this video, Ann Crighton-Harris tells how she became the first woman to be a professional electrician in London’s theaters. Perhaps you sat near Ann Crighton-Harris in the audience at the […]

Predictably smelly breathing [podcast 74]

Heavy breathing (that’s smelly) in movie theaters, in response to what’s in the movie, is the subject of this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by Harvard chemist Daniel Rosenberg — tells about: Predictably smelly breathing in movie theaters— “Cinema audiences reproducibly vary the chemical composition […]

Hydraulic invention: No need to clamber for theater seating

Next time someone disrupts your evening by clambering in or out of a nearby theatre seat, remember: it needn’t be this way. In 1924, Louis J Duprey of Dorchester, Massachusetts, patented a system that “permits any patron of the theatre to enter or leave his place without at all disturbing other patrons”. You, the patron, entered vertically, […]

Booing research

Hugh (Dr. House) Laurie, appearing on The Graham Norton Show (Series 9 Episode 4) explains that in Germany, the word (or sound) for ‘Boooo’ is, instead  ‘Ooooh’. [from 1:00 onwards] The incident is backed up by academic research : “Until the nineteenth-century, there is no evidence of booing: hissing and whistling are generally preferred. Booing […]

Samuel Beckett meets the Teletubbies

Was the creation of the Teletubbies (1997) inspired by the work of Nobel Prize winning avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, Samuel Beckett? Specifically, his plays Quad I + II ? (1981) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Eckart Voigts-Virchow of the University of Siegen, Germany, draws attention to possible similarities (and possible differences) in his paper for […]