Let’s Dive Into The Under Presents: Tempest | Pt. 1

Or: The Under Presents: Tempest VR Theatre Tempts Us with a New Over-Under on Presenting Theatre in VR. Tempestuously. Part 1.

Setting the stage (screencap from my first show)

Initial Thoughts

Here’s the three most important things this models:

  1. How to provide theatre actors with paying jobs (at least thru September!) at a time when there’s very little of that going around.
  2. How to establish a baseline template for what a VR theatre show might look and feel like.
  3. How to charge on a per-show basis.
Very cool having this one shipwreck play out in four variations. Reminded me of the time I saw back to back productions of Miss Julie in a proscenium theater then a studio theater. Or the opening of Toy Story 1 vs Toy Story 3.

Narrative

‘Tempest’ doesn’t really need ‘The Tempest.’ A volcano or iceberg or just about any other provocative VR setting could enable the core of what makes this work. (that’s actually Prospero’s cell and a scene from Timeboat, but it occurred to me after writing “volcano” and “iceberg” that I may as well show these images :) )

Performance

Ariel in two forms. The effect-laden voicework, sounds, music, scale, and visuals all worked in perfect harmony here to deliver Shakespearean text with a punch.

Visuals and Audio

The dressing room for an actor in The Under Presents. Grabbed from this video. In Tempest I was often curious what I looked like with my various costumes and would have enjoyed mirrors somewhere… maybe via water?

Technical

The usher who tried to come to my lobby rescue!
One minute you’re carrying old artifacts and looking off into the sunset, the next you’re roasting marshmallows in the middle of the night.
This should cost way more than $15. But it’s a wonderful entry price. Remember when Amazon Prime was $79? (by the way, cancel Amazon Prime)

Price

  1. Special access to the existing VIP lounges and special masks/spells/props
  2. Q&A with host after a show
  3. Backstage/dressing room/control panel tours
  4. Copy of the script
A wedding, followed by fireworks by an enterprising audience member

Next up:

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Alex Coulombe

Creative Director of Agile Lens: Immersive Design, pioneering new VR/AR content in the architecture and theatre industries. #AliveInPlasticland #XRDad