“Virtual Reality Live Theatre on No Budget A Model for Independent Theatrical Productions using Open-Source Social VR” by Coulombe, Gochfeld, Bradley, Laibson and Miletitch

  • ©Alex Coulombe, David Gochfeld, Brendan Bradley, Kevin Laibson, and Roman Miletitch

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Title:

    Virtual Reality Live Theatre on No Budget A Model for Independent Theatrical Productions using Open-Source Social VR

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Abstract:


    Jettison, along with the entire OnBoardXR festival, is produced and performed live entirely in virtual reality using the open-source Mozilla Hubs platform. These shows took place in a virtual representation of a theater, leveraging the shared conventions of live theatrical performance to simplify the challenge of onboarding the audience: knowing how to behave in a real world theater translates intuitively to behavior in a virtual theater. At the same time, our production process mimicked that of real world theater, with very close parallels in the application of traditional theatrical skills and practices – with the main difference being that our cast and crew were all fully remote. Finally, the Hubs platform allows audiences to view the show on a range of hardware from VR HMDs to tablets and phones. Put together, our process represents a model by which independent theater companies can create productions using familiar techniques and skills, and present it for distributed audiences who don’t have dedicated hardware. Ours was an approach of utilizing the latest virtualization technology to allow access to the widest range of audience possible, all from a bare-bones production budget. Unlike other approaches to virtual or online theater, the work of Jettison and its OnBoardXR is an attempt to, as closely as possible, replicate the experience of attending a show in a real world theater – an experience unavailable over the past year. In this talk we will describe our process and learnings.


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