U.K. Artists Explore VR Technology’s Vast Potential
“I think that theater itself is virtual reality,” says Sarah Ellis, the director of digital development at the Royal Shakespeare Company. “As soon as we come into that space, we are immersed in another world, and we see things on a stage that were impossible in the real world that we left outside. And I don’t think that’s much different than how we look at virtual and augmented reality. It’s all about imagination.”
Ellis is the first person to ever have her title at the Royal Shakespeare Company, which is indicative of its effort to explore how technology can be used to enhance and shape the theater experience. One such result was the recent production of The Tempest in which the company used motion capturing technology to project the actions of an actor into larger-than-life avatars in real time. It was similar to technology used in film to create sensory-based characters such as the Lord of the Rings’ Gollum, but this time the avatar was projected and animated live on stage rather than fleshed out later on a computer.