Producing (Virtual) Live Theater

"The central claim of virtual reality is that it can deliver 'presence,' the feeling of being in a place you’re not, but telling a complete story is still largely a novelty in this budding medium."
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Eric Johnson writes in Re/Code about an experimental theater project in San Francisco from a troupe that calls itself the Department of Badassery. "The Department recently opened a dark comedy called 'Don’t Be Evil' in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood," he writes. "One night before its official debut, the troupe put on an entire show, with a live audience of about 40 people, but there was a very special guest sitting just off stage right: A virtual reality camera.

"The central claim of virtual reality is that it can deliver 'presence,' the feeling of being in a place you’re not, but telling a complete story is still largely a novelty in this budding medium. Nearly every VR 'experience' you can find out on the demo circuit is either a teaser for an interactive video game or a short, self-contained video such as Jaunt’s Paul McCartney concert clip.

"Fontaine described the Department's embrace of virtual reality as "the first step in a long conversation" about how new technology might affect the theatergoing experience. Historic or not, it’s an experiment, and likely the first of many."

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