Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company

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Powerpoint of SL Shakespeare Company's NAST Conference presentation.


  • 1. theA Brief Overview

2. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Virtual worlds: Multiuser worlds that exist in computer-simulated virtual reality Often contains analogues of the real world, such as currency and similar spatial relationsCurrent Mainstream Implementations: User interacts in world represented by his/her avatarDifferent virtual worlds have different features, but communication medium present in all.Popular v.w.s: ActiveWorlds, World of Kaneva, World of Warcraft, The Sims Online, Second Life Virtual Theatre: theatrical performances in virtual worlds Manifestation: Actors control avatars to tell a story, as witnessed by an audience of avatarsNo longer location dependent, globally accessible anywhere with an Internet connectionMore easily create immersive settings for theatrical presentations, can customize rules of reality. Puppetry Analogy Actor as represented by an avatar puppetKeystrokes in lieu of strings to control the avatar(Tangled strings manifest as virtual world server/software congestion!) 3. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Second Life (SL) is an immersiveStats (as of late 2008) Over 15 million registered users open-ended virtual world imagined ~50,000 online simultaneously US$10 million exchanged by and created by its users. monthly on LindeX Extensive inworld commerce system Global, communal, effective social networking platform. Users register for a unique avatar name, purchase land or islands to establish venues with a unique address (SLurl) Second Life as the metaverse 4. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Actor: represented by avatar in Second Life (Avatar: virtual body of participant) Dependent on connective interface (e.g., keyboard, gamepad, OCZ nia, custom software) Basic Implementations of Theatre Avatar moves/activates things directly via arrow keys and mouse-clicks, minimal scripted support. Combination of movement with animations create new choreography Speech via text chat, media stream, or SL Voice Technology-guided Implementations of Theatre Artificial intelligence used to present a sequence of scripted behavior. Speech via text chat, media stream, or SL Voice (Virtual Ventriloquism) Hybrid Voice acting by real humans, mixed with avatars guided by (programmatic) scripts. 5. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Not a teleplay: Not merely about actors being separated by long distances, but actually, a play that exists in virtual realityparticularly, the metaverse, a virtual world with analogues to the real world, such as its own currency and economy, its own culture and intelligentsia, etc. Not a broadcast medium, per se: Limitations in number of avatars in a single local venue similar to a RL theatre, not easy to record a high quality film of an event. When broadcast, in the traditional sense, as a raster video, the performance loses its scope. Not just animation: The animation medium is premeditated, requiring that each frame of the spiel be planned for or created in advance. When you have an avatar on a virtual stage, its definitely a live medium, where anything can happen once showtime starts! 6. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Second Life is new; the platform is experimental. Possibilities SL, as is, can facilitate high customization in avatar and set design, recognizably emulate RL productions Innovative Possibilities Transparent Interface: Natural movements via customizedbrowser for real-time motion capture streaming animation. Holographic projections 7. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y The SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) is a professional theatre company based in SL. curator of the most historically accurate theatres andarchitecture relating to William Shakespeare in virtual worlds. The SLSC is an independent organization. Fiscal Sponsor: sLiterary, Inc. (NPO, arts in virtual worlds) Not affiliated with Linden Lab (Second Life) Not affiliated with any one institution, though many haveparticipated, and all are welcome to participate. Origins Founded in 2007 by Ina Centaur Composed entirely of virtual staff recruited from the usercommunities of Second Life, and the Internet. 8. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Performance Environment SL Globe TheatreTo-Scale replica of Shakespeares second Globe Theatre Set in the midst of an an arts mecca in virtual worlds. Blackfriars Theatre Worlds only complete replica of Shakespeares indoor theatre. Perfect for Elizabethan-style black box theatre. Networking, Publicity, and Outreach Utilizes the talented network of artists and creators, who arethe merchants of SL Thrives in the artistic meritocracy of SL Grassroots-based publicity, with focus on inworldcommunities. SL reaches to all econ-sectors, around the world. Many sawtheir first Shakespearean play on SL. 9. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Main: A single full-length Shakespearean play/year Several smaller productions other than the main play RSC Methods of scansion/analysis with rigorous rehearsals Open auditions, recruit from SL. Most actors have never met in RL. Performed scenes from Hamlet in our pilot year 2007 Elizabethan-era production Created avatars based on photos submitted by actors Shown in B&W are imagery of avatars created based on actors 10. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y Twelfth Night is our main Shakespearean production for 09 Early work started in Summer of 2008, as a full-costumedtag-team staged reading series of the entire play. Act 1 (full ensemble) is currently an open-ended run. Acts 2, 3, 4 & 5 will open in June, September, and November Set in the Generic Past, archetypal character designs The Domain of Our Theatre is an Evolving Virtual World Second Life is constantly evolving and changing based on whatits users do. The world itself is a very live medium. Live Demo: Scene from Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 2