iSlate? Apple’s New Tablet and Jetsons’ Theatre

Ok, that may not be the best title for this post but it could have been worse. I have posted earlier a bit on how I think things are starting to evolve but there are two main things that as a gadget geek don’t seem to stop impressing me: Apple and Social Media. Its no secret that I love Apple and why. But Social Media is something that I believe is just starting to take over, and that it will slowly will take over basically everything we do. I just started using Gowalla and I think its a tool that will start growing into something important.

The big thing for me is Theatre right? So how does Social Media and the new Apple Tablet (tentatively called iSlate, just speculation) come together with theatre. Well the truth is that it doesn’t but I dream of a close future where it does and this is how I think it should be. If you are reading Steve Jobs, think on us theatre guys more often please.

Us guys in theatre production carry around a whole bunch of papers: Scripts, Plots, Plans, Drawings, Calendars and Schedules mostly. Half of the day we spend it actually sharing these papers with a whole bunch of people, we do modifications to it, we share it, we reprint it and some of us started using laptops but we still go from one paper to the other because honestly, who wants to carry around a laptop onstage? Nobody.

Now there will be a new product that we don’t really know exactly what it will do but here is my dream if you are dreaming or if you develop software call me because we have some business to do:

Imagine that it will be magic paper where we can read all this information and share it. And this is where social media starts to kick in. Imagine that you can tell in a map where all your cast is, your designers etc, then you can send them information on rehearsals. That you can automatically have new versions of the script without loosing your notes when you are working on a new piece. Imagine that as an actor you can make blocking notes with pictures, voice recordings, videos right on your script, or you could pull those of a Stage Manager. Calendars that change automatically. Level sessions where you can take your piece of paper where you have your cues recorded and take pictures of your work at the same time. Where you can instantly video chat with a colleague just by clicking his name wherever he is. This will improve communications and the way we work.

So what is the problem? Dinosaurs. Yes, you may think those guys stopped being a problem millions of years ago but no. People still refuse to use e-mail in some places or you can’t count with people reading them. The very first step is to embrace technology and stop thinking that it is some kind of demon that will take over our souls. It is not. Our soul is not going to go through an e-mail. So please, step one, embrace technology and use it, to its full potential. The amount of free tools out there in the internet is ridiculous and with things like the iPhone and Nexus One they are just getting simpler and simpler but if us as theatre practicians don’t jump on that bus, we are doomed to expensive and long theatre productions. Let computers take care of the machine so we can take care of the art ok?

What do you think? Do you imagine a Jetson’s future for theatre production? Would you like it?

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One thought on “iSlate? Apple’s New Tablet and Jetsons’ Theatre

  1. Informative and interesting post. For years there has been a rumor floating around that Apple has had a tablet device in the works. Recent events and technology detective work indicates that Apple’s new product is finally here

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