The authors discuss what they term “media commedia”: performance works melding comedic performance traditions with new media technologies. They focus on The Roman Forum Project, a series of mixed-reality performance projects they produced whose subject is contemporary American politics and media as seen through the eyes of ancient Romans. They discuss the developing relationship between the Internet and public discourse; their use of avatars to explore the boundaries between performance and identity; their use of the Internet as an improvisational space; and the mise en abyme effects of working with mixed realities (including text-based virtual worlds).
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