XR THEATRE LAB
A R&D PROJECT BY MEGAVERSE
The Megaverse XR Theatre Lab (MXRTL) is an R&D project from Ben Carlin at Megaverse and Producer Natalie Hall, exploring how to extend the corporeal immediacy and humanity of live performance through burgeoning immersive technology.
MXRTL will construct a low-cost, portable scanning rig that can 3D capture live performances “in the round” using an array of calibrated depth-sensing cameras. Unlike traditional motion capture, these performances can be live-streamed into a virtual set and experienced through multiple networked virtual reality headsets repurposing existing gaming technology, or experienced live in any space through augmented reality on a smart mobile device.
This rig will allow artists to create, devise, and push the boundaries of alternate reality theatre. The creative potential of the rig includes global promenade theatre, virtually porting audience members into the middle of a scene, or gathering live audiences from multiple countries for communal arts experiences.
We will test the rig in 3 week-long sessions:
Engaging with members of the Sheffield Culture Consortium and local artists to creatively test and play with the rig while introducing them to the technology and creative potential of using XR.
Partnering with Sheffield Hallam University to upskill students on XR technology, engage academics, and push the creative limits of the rig.
Residency with National Youth Theatre devising a workshop theatre piece exploring emotional v. artificial intelligence. We will invite small tester audiences including members of the public, university, funders, and Sheffield Cultural Consortium.
Ben Carlin, Megaverse
Ben has produced multiple XR applications for clients in Sheffield/London, leading small teams of creatives and technologists to create unique digital experiences for the arts, marketing and healthcare sectors. Ben has a First Class (Hons) degree in Drama from Kingston University and is currently developing a new digital course for National Youth Theatre which will run later this year. megaverse.co
Natalie V. Hall
In the last 10 years, Natalie has built marketing departments, produced arts events and developed audience engagement and education programmes for venues across California and the UK. Originally a theatre maker, she trained at New York University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and holds an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths College. natalievhall.com
Pioneering European company specialising in holographic representations of humans for virtual and augmented reality. Epiphany VR has an established working relationship with Mimesys from previous ACE funded project (2016) using pre-rendered 1-sided volumetric/holographic performers inside a game rendered environment. mimesysvr.com
Sheffield Hallam University
One of the UK’s largest and most progressive universities. Partnering with the Digital Media Production Department and Lecturer Anne Doncaster. shu.ac.uk
National Youth Theatre
Devising Residency Partner
World leading youth arts organisation. Collaborated with EVR on previous project called The Host VR, a 360 VR accompaniment piece to The Host which premiered at The Yard Theatre in August 2017. nyt.org.uk
Director, NYT Residency Week
Director and theatre maker. Trained at Rose Bruford College in European Theatre Arts. Recipient of the Bryan Forbes Bursary with the National Youth Theatre REP 2016. Theatre Practitioner at Frantic Assembly, Creative Associate at Epiphany VR/Megaverse. seanhollands.com