Is this an avatar I see before me? Audience takes to stage in virtual Shakespeare play

Video game software enables actors to interact with viewers
in real-time fantasy

By Dalya Alberge

“Playhouses may be dark, but the Royal Shakespeare Company is to bring immersive theatre to audiences wherever they are in the world by combining revolutionary virtual reality and video games technologies with traditional live performances.

Real-time animation will be created by actors interacting with a live audience, who will in turn influence a story inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A fantasy world inspired by Shakespeare’s imagination will be recreated on an audience’s computers and mobile phones in a way that allows them to interact directly with the narrative and music. They could, for example, become an iridescent firefly, lighting up a virtual enchanted forest – along with thousands of other fireflies – and guiding Puck along the way. Or they could trigger layers of instrumental sound, adding to a symphonic score performed by the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra.

In a pioneering project, to be announced tomorrow, specialists from the worlds of theatre, music and gaming have shared their expertise, developing a “prototype” that could be adopted for future live performances.“

Source: The Guardian