Augmented Reality Theater Takes a Bow. In Your Kitchen.


When the pandemic shut down British performing venues in March 2020, Coffey accelerated plans to show “All Kinds of Limbo” into an at-home expertise. The retooled model will be watched via A.R. on a mobile device, via a V.R. headset, or on a regular computer. Brandon’s efficiency stays the identical, however, relying on the machine used, the expertise feels subtly totally different.

To summon a few of theater’s shared intimacy, it’s being ticketed and broadcast as dwell, though the present is recorded. Other folks attending nearly are represented by blades of shifting white gentle and, by enjoying with the settings, you may transfer across the house and see the motion from totally different angles.

It’s a quick piece, however “All Kinds of Limbo” does really feel just like the glimmering of a new artwork kind: someplace between music video, online game and dwell cabaret present.

Over the previous couple of years, Britain’s theater scene has change into a check mattress for comparable experiments. Last spring, the Royal Shakespeare Company co-produced an immersive digital piece called “Dream” that featured actors performing utilizing motion-capture know-how and was watchable through smartphone or laptop. Other tasks, comparable to reveals by the Almeida theater in London and the company Dreamthinkspeak in Brighton, England, require individuals to show up in individual and get outfitted with VR headsets.

Francesca Panetta, a V.R. producer and artist who was just lately appointed because the alternate realities curator on the Sheffield DocFest movie pageant, stated in a video interview that practitioners from audio, gaming, theater, TV and different artwork kinds had been collaborating as by no means earlier than. “Many different people are trying to explore this space and work out what it really is,” she stated. “No one is quite sure.”

One of the most keenly awaited partnerships is between the immersive theater troupe Punchdrunk, which pioneered dwell site-specific reveals comparable to “Sleep No More” and “The Masque of the Red Death” within the mid-2000s, and the tech agency Niantic, best-known for the wildly profitable A.R. sport Pokémon Go.



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