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Our main inspiration for the silhouette performance idea was the concept of original shadow plays, using hands or cut-outs as shadow puppets in performances. These performances have been around for a long time, and are long-standing traditions in many Asian cultures. We looked specifically at modern puppet theater performances/venues - one really great example was Beijing’s “China Puppet Theater” - and it showed how the genre has held its shape over time.

The shadow plays generally work primarily with paper and crafts, without media components. A big influence in how we included media in our performance was the Attraction Shadow Theater Group. This group does a spectacular job at combining beautiful backdrops with compelling acting and storylines. Their shows gave us a better idea of what’s required to effectively pull off a silhouette performance. Similarly, we were influenced by the performances of The Silhouettes, a dance troupe of young dancers that perform behind a backlit scene as music plays.

We have attached below examples of each of these sources/performances.

Outside of these three explicit influences, we were influenced by the general flexibility that iMessage conversations allowed, especially in crafting conversations tailored towards a specific plot or purpose. We were also influenced by the examples of interactive cinema that we’d encountered through our module readings.

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