Title

The Memeing of Millennial Theatre: Looking at Remix Culture and How It Is Used to Engage

Submitter and Co-author information

Elissa WeirFollow

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Challenges Theme

Open Challenge

Your Location

LaSalle, Ontario

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michelle MacArthur

Abstract/Description of Original Work

From memes about University Players shows to fan fiction inspired by Shakespeare, millennials are using the new tools technology has provided for them in order to show appreciation and criticism of the theatre they have consumed. This has become their way of being an interactive audience, rather than a passive one. The adaptive content we are seeing today exists almost entirely in the digital space. Access to the internet and technology has made it incredibly easy for millennials to create and share without having to become a professional writer or photoshop editor. This creates something of a generational gap, where the content millennials are making online is often misunderstood. Three case studies will be given a close reading through the lens of Hutcheon’s Adaptation Theory and McLuhan’s Media Theory: the University of Windsor’s staged reading of Erin Shield’s “The Millennial Malcontent”, Shakespeare fan-fiction found on archiveofourown.org, and theatre memes made by drama students. Specifically, Hutcheon’s idea that adaptive works are not parasitic and deserve to be studied in their own right, and McLuhan’s idea that artists are the “antennae” of society, will be used to analyze the complex functions of millennial remix culture in the examples above. This presentation will argue that remix culture does not diminish works that inspire it, nor is it born out of a laziness and inability to make one’s own original work. Rather, it shows the desire to emulate a previous work and engage with others on the plays millennials feel passionately about.

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The Memeing of Millennial Theatre: Looking at Remix Culture and How It Is Used to Engage

From memes about University Players shows to fan fiction inspired by Shakespeare, millennials are using the new tools technology has provided for them in order to show appreciation and criticism of the theatre they have consumed. This has become their way of being an interactive audience, rather than a passive one. The adaptive content we are seeing today exists almost entirely in the digital space. Access to the internet and technology has made it incredibly easy for millennials to create and share without having to become a professional writer or photoshop editor. This creates something of a generational gap, where the content millennials are making online is often misunderstood. Three case studies will be given a close reading through the lens of Hutcheon’s Adaptation Theory and McLuhan’s Media Theory: the University of Windsor’s staged reading of Erin Shield’s “The Millennial Malcontent”, Shakespeare fan-fiction found on archiveofourown.org, and theatre memes made by drama students. Specifically, Hutcheon’s idea that adaptive works are not parasitic and deserve to be studied in their own right, and McLuhan’s idea that artists are the “antennae” of society, will be used to analyze the complex functions of millennial remix culture in the examples above. This presentation will argue that remix culture does not diminish works that inspire it, nor is it born out of a laziness and inability to make one’s own original work. Rather, it shows the desire to emulate a previous work and engage with others on the plays millennials feel passionately about.