Students from Goldsmiths, University of London are to explore the future of theatre-making as part of a project backed by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and tech firm Magic Leap.
The two organisations have announced the first-ever Fellowships programme to explore theatre innovation – with Goldsmiths one of the partner universities at which the digital storytelling scholars will be based.
The project aims to shape the future of theatre audiences’ experiences, using the latest digital technology to explore areas of spatial computing like augmented reality.
The Fellowships will focus on three key areas of skill and expertise:
- Creative - actor, performer, designer, producer
- Narrator - writer, dramaturg
- Technical producer - photogrammetry, motion-capture and volumetric-capture, spatial computing programmer or coder
Two Fellows will be hosted by Goldsmiths spin-out firm i2 media research limited, with the students drawing upon wider academic expertise across College. In total the RSC and Magic Leap are offering six fellowships.
i2 media research is an expert consumer insight and user experience research and strategy consultancy based at Goldsmiths which since 2002 has worked with high-profile private and public sector clients.
Professor Jonny Freeman, Director of i2 media research, said: “This is an incredibly exciting collaboration, giving us the opportunity to explore how to develop and use state of the art immersive mixed reality tools to augment both the creative production process, and audience experience.
“Doing this in partnership with RSC and Magic Leap raises the promise of successful results from the Fellowships being applied quickly, to deliver transformational impact.”
He added: “i2 media research is recognised worldwide for its methodologies to evaluate immersive user experience and audience impact. We look forward to combining our skills with those of other innovators across Goldsmiths in this collaboration.
For our students, the Fellowships will open up exciting opportunities to engage with Magic Leap technology, and to work closely with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production and creative digital teams.
Other UK university partners include the University of Birmingham and University of Portsmouth. The Midlands 4 Cities doctoral training programme will also participate to connect with eight leading universities in the Midlands region.
The Fellows will have the chance to build spatial computing skills that can be applied to theatre and live performance.
The journey will be followed through a series of blogs led by innovation foundation Nesta, allowing the knowledge gained to be shared throughout the creative industries.
Sarah Ellis, RSC Director of Digital Development, said: “We’re all about creating amazing experiences for audiences, to captivate and to inspire people through our performances. We want to push boundaries and to seek new ways of engaging people in live theatre. New technologies have a great potential to do this.
“Magic Leap are at the nexus of art and technology. By partnering with them it allows us to explore how storytelling can be brought to life using spatial computing to create a seamless blend of the real and the digital. We are thrilled to be working with them and our university partners to find the next generation of creative technologists who can help us to change the face of live experience for people around the world.”
Fellows will be selected through an interview process in late November/December 2018. Those wanting further information should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest in applying.