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      A Brief Overview
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 relations
     
         Current Mainstream Implementations: User interacts in world represented by his/her avatar
     
         Different 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 avatars
     
         No longer location dependent, globally accessible anywhere with an Internet connection
     
         More easily create immersive settings for theatrical presentations, can customize rules of reality.
     


    Puppetry Analogy

         Actor as represented by an avatar puppet
     
         Keystrokes in lieu of strings to control the avatar
     
         (Tangled strings manifest as virtual world server/software congestion!)
     
SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y
 Second Life (SL) is an immersive                  Stats (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”

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.
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 reality—particularly, 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, it’s definitely a live medium, where anything can
  happen once showtime starts!
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 customized
       browser for real-time motion capture streaming animation.
      Holographic projections
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 and
     architecture 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 have
     participated, and all are welcome to participate.
 Origins
   Founded in 2007 by Ina Centaur
   Composed entirely of virtual staff recruited from the user
     communities of Second Life, and the Internet.
SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y
 Performance Environment
    SL Globe Theatre
           To-Scale replica of Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre
         
          Set in the midst of an an arts mecca in virtual worlds.
        Blackfriars Theatre
    
           World’s only complete replica of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.
         
          Perfect for Elizabethan-style black box theatre.

 Networking, Publicity, and Outreach
    Utilizes the talented network of artists and creators, who are
     the merchants of SL
    Thrives in the “artistic meritocracy” of SL
    Grassroots-based publicity, with focus on inworld
     communities.
    SL reaches to all econ-sectors, around the world. Many saw
     their first Shakespearean play on SL.
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
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-costumed
   tag-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 what
     its users do. The world itself is a very live medium.
 Live Demo: Scene from Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 2
Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company
Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company
Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company
Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company
Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company

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Virtual Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company

  • 1. the A 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 relations  Current Mainstream Implementations: User interacts in world represented by his/her avatar  Different 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 avatars  No longer location dependent, globally accessible anywhere with an Internet connection  More easily create immersive settings for theatrical presentations, can customize rules of reality.  Puppetry Analogy  Actor as represented by an avatar puppet  Keystrokes 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 immersive Stats (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 reality—particularly, 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, it’s 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 customized browser 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 and architecture 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 have participated, and all are welcome to participate.  Origins  Founded in 2007 by Ina Centaur  Composed entirely of virtual staff recruited from the user communities of Second Life, and the Internet.
  • 8. SL Shakesp e ar e Co mp a n y  Performance Environment  SL Globe Theatre To-Scale replica of Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre   Set in the midst of an an arts mecca in virtual worlds. Blackfriars Theatre  World’s only complete replica of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.   Perfect for Elizabethan-style black box theatre.  Networking, Publicity, and Outreach  Utilizes the talented network of artists and creators, who are the merchants of SL  Thrives in the “artistic meritocracy” of SL  Grassroots-based publicity, with focus on inworld communities.  SL reaches to all econ-sectors, around the world. Many saw their first Shakespearean play on SL.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11. 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
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. 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-costumed tag-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 what its users do. The world itself is a very live medium.  Live Demo: Scene from Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 2