Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Play Map Source Code Released!

NewPlayMap1Back in January, I presented my initial thoughts regarding the New Play Institute's New Play Map, a platform for an open-source, user generated, map of the new play sector. The Institute has since continued work on developing the code for the map, while I have noticed that in my greater Boston metropolitan area, more "generative artists" (a term that embraces both playwrights and collaboratives), and presenting organizations have slowly begun to appear on the map. Locally, the playwright development organization, Playwrights' Commons has even launched a campaign to map Boston area plays and playwrights.

On May 19th, the New Play Institute announced that the source code for the latest version of the New Play Map has been posted to GitHub.

Of course, the immediate question is: what could be done with this code now that it has been open sourced? The Institute asks:

We're dying to find out what you could imagine doing with it.

(Theatre organizations in other countries: Why not take the source code to map the theatre infrastructure of your own country? That would be the simplest and easiest adaptation of this project.)

Since the introduction of the Map, I have considered what other art sectors would be well served by the platform. Plays are not the only works that can be tracked in this manner. My attention went to some of the other performing art forms: dance, opera, (and for a lack of a better term, "performance art"), are amongst a number of composed pieces that can be performed and presented in any number of venues, by various performers, presenting organizations, and can even go through a development process of workshops, conferences and festivals.

So why not a New Dance Map? New Opera Map? New Performance Map?