I'm the founder and artistic director of the Plaintext Players, a pioneering group of artists, writers, and performers engaged in creating unique forms of live, online improvisations since 1994. In addition to directing most Plaintext Players performances, I designed the Plaintext Players website and have created a number of hybrid-reality projects with the group, including The Roman Forum (2000), The Roman Forum Project (2003), and Demotic (2004/2006).
Plaintext Players performances are directed textual improvisations that take off from written scenarios and usually take place in the Internet worlds known as MOOs. These performances have taken place in numerous venues in the United States and Europe and have been included in the Venice Biennale, documenta,the European Media Arts Festival, and the New York Digital Salon, as well as other exhibitions and festivals.
Originally the Plaintext Players performed live for online audiences, and in some cases these performances were streamed live to off-net audiences in galleries by means of large-scale projections. Later on, the Plaintext Players began to work with theater actors and artists in an extended 'mixed reality' that merged physical and networked spaces in a variety of ways.
A number of essays, doctoral theses, and books have discussed the work of the Plaintext Players. Some of these are linked at left; others include Helen Varley Jamieson, "Adventures in Cyberformance" (2008); Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, "Houdini's Premonition: Virtuality and Vaudeville on the Internet" (1997); and Marlena Corcoran, "Life and Death in the Digital World of the Plaintext Players" (1999). The complete transcript of a Plaintext Players performance was published in Performance Art Journal in 2003 under the title “The Birth of the Christ Child,” with an introduction by Marlena Corcoran.