> interactie

interaction > interactive [English/Dutch]

The word ‘interaction’ is, like many other words used in the West, originally Latin. ‘Between’ is the English translation of the Latin ‘Inter,’ and ‘action’ refers to the Latin word ‘actio,’ which means movement or action. Turning to its Latin translations, the definition of ‘interaction’ can be explained quite well as a movement, action or influence that happens between persons or objects. Therefore, the synonym of interaction is interplay, an influence between two components. During an interplay or interaction the components are connected and through this connection they are influencing each other. 

Communication and action are two essential elements of theatre. These elements are both based on interaction. The communication takes place in theatre with the audience, but also between performers and objects. These connections are based on interaction. So interaction makes connections arise, which makes communication possible. Also, an action arises through interaction because an action is based on interaction with space, persons, sounds, objects, light or the audience. In short, interaction makes action and communication possible in theatre. 

Furthermore, theatre can be used as an interaction: this is what happens with interactive theatre. The difference between ‘traditional’ theatre and interactive theatre is the fourth wall, which doesn’t exist in interactive theatre. In interactive theatre there’s direct contact with audience. While the fourth wall is retained in ‘traditional’ theatre, so there’s only interaction on the stage. Interactive theatre is based on interaction with the public.  This can be shaped in different forms. For example: ‘community theatre’ or ‘participatory theatre’

Author and translator: Fenny Postma