If Twitter were a little more reliable, we could:
Create networked performance wherein each actor speaks their lines to voice-recognition software in real time, converting their speech into text that is sent, through their Twitter account, from remote locations. Then, via RSS feed, these memorized texts could be picked up in the performance “space” by a device “following” their accounts which would convert each individual Twitterer’s “tweets”(lines), as they are received, back into the actor’s voice (each having previously recorded all of the individual words in the play) using text-to-speech technology. The speech-to-text conversion may be imperfect; the resulting text-to-speech conversion creating oddly disembodied but recognizably human voices.
Add to this mix the possibility of members of the audience (including a web-only “audience”) choosing to “follow” the main performers, and having their own accounts added to the feeds upon reciprocation of the “friending”, enabling the audience to comment, or quote, or provide links (they may be googling all along) and context - projected on a large screen or wall, or also converted to speech in any, or multiple, voices (of which only the sound levels may be controlled by a technician).
We get a cool, connected work of collaboration and chance, made possible by the digital age and the openness of the underlying technologies. The freedom to exchange data, remix it, reconstitute it, and use it to populate future programs and devices offers a allows us to completely reimagine performance as an inclusive medium. By allowing and encouraging global participation in the shaping of a performance event, suddenly Shakespeare’s Hamlet suddenly becomes Everyone’s Hamlet. Voice, distance, connection - heck, even humanity begin to be redefined.
But will it be fun to watch? That is the question.