Brander Matthews: Father of Dramatic Literature

Brander Matthews was one of the purist theatrical geniuses we’ve had in, and around, the intellectual American Stage.  Brander rightly believed a play only existed in performance and that the performance and the text must be evaluated separately. He was also one of the first professors at an American University — Columbia University in the City of New York starting in 1892 — to promote, and foster, the idea that Dramatic Literature was just as important a field of study as any historic cave wall painting or artistic sculpture or aesthetic structure. He believed in the power of the Playwright to form the world.

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How to Fix a Script

Scripts are written to be broken.  Scripts get shattered in process by misunderstood meaning, poor plot development and shoddy character formation — and that’s all before a director even reads the thing! 

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Virtual Chats Using Famous Avatars

The University of Illinois at Chicago have come up with a method of providing interactive video chat online using realistic avatars:

UIC also has developed technology that provides viewers with 3-D images that do not require wearing special glasses.

One important factor in the project is to impart appropriate body language to the avatar as it responds to comments and questions, said Steve Jones, a UIC professor of communication.
“In real life, it’s just assumed that you can read a person’s responses without saying anything,” said Jones.

A subtle hesitation before speaking can have meaning, but such nuances have been mostly lacking in software programs created so far.

The project will use video cameras to record a person’s mannerisms, and that information will be fed into the programs that activate the avatar, Jones said.

This technology means you could become your favorite actor or politician or family member and “chat” online as that person or even with that person.

Professors could hold online virtual meetings with students — and neither student or instructor would have to dress up or even look special for the occasion.

We are quickly moving into the Age of Masks and with that virtualization of our real selves, we must remember to always preserve our humanity in the negotiation.

Please Touch My Moodle

Moodle is the content management system I spent the day installing yesterday to run the new learning module for my ScriptProfessor website and the installation was as painless as promised:

Moodle Installation Confirmation 

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