Royal Shakespeare Company works with Portsmouth experts on storytelling in digital age

The University of Portsmouth‘s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries is to help the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) establish a new generation of creatives who change how stories are told in a digital age.

The RSC and technology innovator, Magic Leap, today launched the first fellowships programme to explore the future of theatre innovation.

The University is one of three working on the new programme of advancing how stories are told.  Together, the group will create opportunities for students, academics and post-graduate students who have an interest in digital story-telling.

The fellowship programme will give six students the opportunity to discover and shape the future of theatre and live performance using spatial computing technology.

The fellows will receive expert input from; the RSC, university partners and Magic Leap technologists. On everything from dramaturgy and stage design to user experience, audience insight and developer skills.

They will also work with external industry specialists throughout the fellowship.

Photograph by Benjamin Graham

The fellowships will focus on three key areas of skill and expertise:

  • Creative (actor, performer, designer, producer)
  • Narrator (writer, dramaturg)
  • Technical producer (photogrammetry, motion-capture and volumetric-capture), spatial computing programmer or coder

The six fellows will be selected in late November/December.

The University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries specialises in research and innovation in the creative arts, technologies and performance. It has purpose-built technical facilities, lab and performance spaces, and leaders in virtual and augmented reality, motion capture, film, TV and broadcast.

Executive Dean Professor Trevor Keeble said: “This exciting project offers the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries the opportunity to collaborate with world-leading innovators in the field of live performance, digital story-telling, and immersive technologies.

“We look forward to collaborating with our partners, and our newly announced fellows to frame the future of immersive performance, theatre and technologies.”

Sarah Ellis, RSC Director of Digital Development, said: “We’re all about creating amazing experiences for audiences, to captivate and to inspire people through our performances.  We want to push boundaries and to seek new ways of engaging people in live theatre.  New technologies have a great potential to do this.

“Magic Leap are at the nexus of art and technology. By partnering with them it allows us to explore how storytelling can be brought to life using spatial computing to create a seamless blend of the real and the digital.  We are thrilled to be working with them and our university partners to find the next generation of creative technologists who can help us to change the face of live experience for people around the world.”

The announcement coincides with Magic Leap’s first developer conference in Los Angeles (L.E.A.P. Con).

John Monos, VP, Human-Centered AI & dDNA at Magic Leap said: “We’re thrilled to partner with the forward-thinking and creative team at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The RSC is leading the charge in the intersection of arts and technology, a key area of focus for Magic Leap. Working together gives us both the opportunity to be at the forefront of arts and technology by mixing the digital with live performance to ultimately develop the next frontier in theatre.”

For information on applying for a fellowship, contact daisy.murray@rsc.org.uk

Press article courtesy UoP News

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