Food for thought

VR meets performing arts

If VR is most of the time associated with video gaming, a new use of it is made in the performing art world. Creative Studios are now offering experiences combining theater and virtual reality. They adapt the use of VR headsets to immersive experiences with real life actors.

Tender Claws, an award-winning art and games studio, developed the Tempest, a one-of-a-kind immersive theatre experience. Participants travel through time and space to enact an exciting story of love & revenge. Inspired by Shakespeare’s famed tale, they are guided by Prospero, a live performer, who will enlist their help. The line between reality and virtual, and truth and fiction, blur as audience members are “cast” as Prospero’s spirits to realize an interactive, virtual version of the story. 

Similarly, Nihaarika Negi and Rémi Large, from Tamanoir Immersive Studio, developed A city of foxes, which is at the crossroads between immersive theater and virtual reality. For them, A city of foxes questions our relationship to others in times of otherness and loss. For 30 minutes, up to three participants, equipped with VR headsets, are embarked in a fantastic universe, an imaginary Indian kingdom, in which foxes are celestial beings persecuted for millennia. Participants, will meet a fox, played by a live performer in a motion capture suit, one of the last survivors of its kind and strike up a conversation, with questions meant to foster deep connection with him.

The growing popularity of immersive games and treasure hunts, shows that people like to live and participate in new experiences mixing reality, fiction and now virtual. These new VR performances will surely continue attracting people who love to take a more active part in entertainment.

   Monia MERABET

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