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Plaintext Players

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Title: Plaintext Players  
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Subject: MOO, MUDs, Zone (video games), Mythicscape, Rent (MUD)
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Plaintext Players

The Plaintext Players were founded by Antoinette LaFarge in 1994.[1] They were an online performance group that consisted of various artists that engaged in Cyberformance, predominately taking place on MOOs. Their performances form a "hybrid of theatre, fiction and poetry".[2]


When the Plaintext Players began their journey into the world of cyberformance they dealt primarily in textual based environments, MOOs. LaFarge would devise a detailed scenario which would be communicated to the actors or "participants" beforehand. The pieces would then be constructed through improvisation under LaFarge's direction.[3] An early example of this would be their two early projects "Gutter City"[4] and "LittleHamlet".[5] In "Gutter City" they told the tale of what happened to Ishmael, from Moby-Dick, after his rescue, and in "LittleHamlet" they retold the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet but attempted to show "All of the characters' formerly unspoken needs, fears, and desires...".[5] In 1998 they adapted one of their previous works, The Candide Campaign (1996),[6] from a text based performance into a fully fledged theatrical event which took place at the New York International Fringe Festival during which they married the text and the performance by having the text projected on a screen in synchronisation with the performance. From this point they began experimenting with live video streaming of real life performers merged with improvised text. Their departure from purely text based performance was precipitated by the growing availability of multimedia technologies spurring the Plaintext Players to create work which had both physical actors and online actors in a real world venue.[7]

Previous Work

  • Christmas - 1994 [8]
  • I Object - 1995 [9]
  • LittleHamlet - 1995 [10]
  • Gutter City - 1995 [11]
  • The Cake of the Desert - 1996 [12]
  • The Candide Campaign - 1996 [13]
  • The White Whale - 1997 [14]
  • Orpheus - 1997 [15]
  • Silent Orpheus - 1997 [16]
  • Still Lies Quiet Truth - 1998 [17]
  • Birth of the Christ Child - 1999 [18]
  • The Roman Forum - 2000 [19]
  • Virtual Live - 2002 [20]
  • The Roman Forum Project - 2003 [21]
  • Demotic - 2004/2006 [22]


  1. ^ Plaintext Players to Avatars Actors Retrieved 28 October 2012
  2. ^ Paper and Ink to Pixels and Links http://playground151.servus.ats/default/files/OP6_HelenJamieson.pdf Retrieved 28 October 2012
  3. ^ Danet, Brenda (2001). Cyberpl@y:Communicating Online. Oxford: Berg. p. 409.  
  4. ^ Gutter City Retrieved 25 October 2012
  5. ^ a b Little Hamlet Retrieved 25 October 2012
  6. ^ The Candide Campaign Retrieved 25 October 2012
  7. ^ Maybin & Swann, Janet & Joan (2010). The Routledge Companion to English Language Studies. USA & Canada: Routledge. p. 314.  
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External links

  • The Plaintext Players website
  • Antoinette LaFarge's website
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