To help our team, skip to the heading reading "AT THIS POINT" below.
This last week, our team had an incredible time presenting To Be With Hamlet at the New York City Media Lab at Columbia University!
Early on the 22nd, our team headed North from our Brookyln headquarters at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering to Columbia’s illustrious Lerner Hall.
Once inside, we began to set up a seventeen by twenty-four square foot performance space in a black box theatre dedicated to the production. To enable our audience members to see our actors performing in our motion capture lab in Brooklyn, we projected a live feed from the studio on one of the black box’s screens.
Once all the equipment was in place, Bas in het Veld, our technical director, connected our five Vives to the M3diate platform, which enabled five audience members and our performers to exist in the virtual space simultaneously; at any one time, every audience member wearing a Vive could see the Prince, the ghost, the castle, and the other audience members. As the funding for our project grows, ten or more audience members could experience the virtual space simultaneously. We also set up a monitor so that the audience members not wearing the Vives could watch the play.
Throughout our exhibit time, NYC’s top media executives, technologists, academics, and futurists poured into the black box to be with Hamlet by putting on the Vive or watching our live feeds of the performance. The crowd’s incredibly positive response to our exhibit has confirmed our belief that To Be With Hamlet and, more generally, this new fusion of live theatre and VR, is more than the novel sum of its parts; To Be With Hamlet gives audience members a new kind of an dramatic experience and the audience wants more of it.
AT THIS POINT, our production has reached a critical juncture. While we have had huge successes at festivals such Kaleidoscope's Summer Showcase and the New York City Media Lab, we have unfortunately not raised enough money to support this production indefinitely. When we began this project, we aimed to create a new kind of dramatic experience by fusing live performance, motion capture, and virtual reality in a innovative new way without any expectation of financial return.
Now that we have polished the project and have seen the incredible dramatic power of this new form, we want to bring it to a larger audience; we want to bring it to you. Unfortunately, since we have been working on this project for several months without pay, we cannot continue to do so without endangering our livelihoods for ourselves and our families. So why don't we sell it? At this point, we have assembled a team of actors, motion capture artists, technologists, and dramaturgists that is uniquely trained and accustomed to this new form, so there is no one better, in our estimation, to continue developing and exploring this form.
But for us to continue to explore and expand this form, we need your help.
Are you an individual interested in preserving and expanding upon this new form of theatre and virtual reality?
Do you represent a company that endorses innovation and creative risk-taking, whether that be in the arts, in technology, or on the stage?
Still on the fence about donating our sponsoring the project? Check out our new Press Kit.
Over the past several months, this project, which started in part as a riff on the title of one of our favorite books, has grown into a living breathing experience. Like most projects, it matters to us in part because we have poured our blood, sweat, and tears into it. But more than anything, it matters to us because we have seen incredibly positive responses to it and we believe it can matter to you.
The glowworm may show the matin to be near, but that does mean this must be adieu.