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RSC AND MAGIC LEAP OFFER UNIQUE FELLOWSHIPS TO EXPLORE DIGITAL THEATRE INNOVATION

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and technology innovator, Magic Leap, have launched the first ever Fellowships programme to explore the future of theatre innovation.  The announcement comes as the greatest minds in spatial computing join together at Magic Leap’s first developer conference in Los Angeles (L.E.A.P. Con).

Six students will discover the future of theatre using spatial computing technology. The Fellowships will give the candidates access to Magic Leap’s technology, skills and expertise, as well as the depth and breadth of the RSC’s theatrical knowledge and experience. The project aims to shape the future of theatre audiences’ experiences, using the latest digital technology.

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

UK university partners including the University of Birmingham, i2 media research Limited at Goldsmiths University of London and University of Portsmouth have joined the RSC and Magic Leap to create opportunities for students, academics and post-grads who have an interest in digital story-telling.  The Midlands 4 Cities doctoral training programme will also participate to connect with eight leading universities in the Midlands region. The fellows will have the chance to build spatial computing skills that can be applied to theatre and live performance.  The journey will be followed through a series of blogs led by innovation foundation, Nesta, allowing the knowledge gained to be shared throughout the creative industries nesta.org.uk/blog/mixed-reality-theatre-new-ways-play-reality/.

Fellows will be selected through an interview process in late November/December 2018.  Those wanting further information should contact daisy.murray@rsc.org.uk to express interest in applying. 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.

The results of the R&D will shape the next stage of the RSC and Magic Leap partnership including the development of larger-scale projects creating theatrical performances within spatial computing.

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.”

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.”

Ends

For further information on the RSC/Magic Leap partnership, please contact Philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk, jane.ellis@rsc.org.uk

Notes to Editors

Each Fellow will benefit from:

  • Access to Magic Leap technology, skills, expertise and wider team.
  • RSC support and project management of the programme for the Fellows throughout the year
  • Access to RSC equipment, skills and expertise
  • Hardware and software for building of R&D projects
  • Additional resources to deliver R&D – developer time, creative and design time, actor time, materials for physical builds
  • External facilitator fees, travel and accommodation
  • International and UK travel and accommodation for residencies

Outputs and deliverables will be:

  • Completed R&D project in 2019
  • Attendance at all required workshops, briefings, field trips, events and sharings
  • Documentation including project planning, learnings, process and outcomes
  • Meetings with University hosts, RSC and Magic Leap

More information about L.E.A.P Con at: https://www.magicleap.com/leapcon

About Arts Council England - Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Royal Shakespeare Company - Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers. 

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town. 

 We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481 www.rsc.org.uk.

About i2 media research Limited is the expert consumer insight and user experience research and strategy consultancy based at Goldsmiths University of London, delivering rigorous research and innovation to business - since 2002. The

research base on which i2 was founded is on user experience of immersive media, starting in the 1990s. Fully self-funded through commissioned projects and through collaborative R&D, i2 media has successfully completed more than 250 commissions for clients spanning the commercial, public and third sectors.  i2 media research's measure of presence in immersive media (the ITC-Sense of Presence Inventory, 2001) is licensed for free use in hundreds of academic labs worldwide, and is also licensed for commercial R&D.  Building on this, in 2018, i2 media research partnered with Nesta, for the Digital Catapult, to develop and publish an easy to use immersive UX evaluation toolkit (Evaluating Immersive User Experience and Audience Impact: https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/news-and-views/publication/audience-immersive-report/)  For more information, see http://www.i2mediaresearch.com

 

University of Portsmouth: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries - The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth is a broad-based Faculty encompassing teaching, research and innovation in the Creative Arts, Technologies and Performance. Working within a University wide strategic theme of Future and Emerging Technologies the Faculty has purpose built technical facilities, lab and performance spaces, and a particular specialism in Virtual and Augmented Reality, Motion Capture, Film, TV and Broadcast. Current research focuses on the convergence of these technologies and their creative application beyond media. Fatherland, an immersive performance piece, currently under development by the Faculty in partnership with Limbik Theatre has recently received significant development funding and support from Creative XR (Digital Catapult/Arts Council for England) and The National Theatre. Bringing together the narrative and storytelling practices of performance and digital technologies, this work seeks to augment and expand existing practices through creative innovation and inquiry.

About Nesta: Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, making use of our knowledge, networks, funding and skills. We work in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. To find out more visit www.nesta.org.uk 

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