Fear and Technology in the Theatre: Staging McLuhan

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Veretelnyk, Roman
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Although Marshall McLuhan had comparatively little to say about the theatre as a medium in his books, Robin C. Whittaker’s observation that "performance was integral to the delivery of McLuhan’s messages" serves as a reminder to address the question considering an added dimension. For example, at the "Theatre and the Visual Arts" panel at the Fourth Annual Seminar in Irish Studies held in 1971 at the University of Toronto, McLuhan was very much the performer in expressing various thoughts about the "electric theatre," to the delight of both his co-panelists and audience present. Conversing with W. H. Auden and renowned Beckett actor Jack MacGowran, McLuhan asks "what the Greeks might have done with PA systems if they’d had them... would they have shunned the gramophone and radio?" Auden and MacGowran are categorical in their responses, MacGowran’s retort that "they (the Greeks) would have been deadly against" being blunt and to the point. McLuhan answers by musing “whether this (incursion of electronic media) will change acting and the problems of the visual organization of theatre is another question.”
Marshall McLuhan, performance, mediatized culture, Ukrainian writers, article
Veretelnyk R. Fear and Technology in the Theatre: Staging McLuhan / Roman Veretelnyk // Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal. - 2020. - № 7. - P. 215-223.