virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the world of theatre

Virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the world of theatre

Virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the world of theatre

 

 

Virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the world of theatre

 

 

Virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the world of theatre, enticing audiences with immersive experiences and unique perspectives. One such production, called Smile, featured a VR segment that left audience member Roberta Doyle unnerved. Through a VR headset, she found herself in the dressing room, subjected to a passionate rant by the play’s character, Dundee United manager Jim McLean. Although it was an uncomfortable experience, Doyle praised the realism and the innovative approach of using VR in a theatrical setting.

 

This VR experience was made possible by Box Office VR, a company founded by Kelman and Gemma Greig-Kicks. Leveraging their backgrounds in film-making and touring theatre, the couple aims to extend the reach of traditional theatre to new and untapped audiences through VR technology. Box Office VR offers a platform where users can stream recorded performances using their own VR headsets, such as the affordable Google Cardboard VR Glasses.

 

Virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the world of theatre

 

The concept of using VR in theatre has garnered attention beyond Box Office VR. Established names in the industry, including London’s Sadler’s Wells dance theatre and York Theatre Royal, have also explored the potential of making shows available through VR headsets. By embracing this technology, theatres hope to attract audiences who may not typically consider attending live performances or those who face physical limitations in accessing venues.

 

While the use of VR in theatre remains a niche phenomenon, it has significant potential. The ability to virtually transport audiences to performances that may be limited by size or cost could open up new possibilities for theatre productions. Moreover, VR offers an exciting educational tool, as demonstrated by Lisa Kilbride, a drama teacher at Monifieth High School in Dundee. Kilbride utilizes Box Office VR’s headsets to introduce her students to the world of theatre, providing a unique and engaging experience that complements their studies.

 

Liam Sinclair, business manager at the Dundee Rep, acknowledges the impact of VR on audiences. He witnessed how VR enhanced the experience of Smile for Jim McLean’s family, who felt a deep emotional connection as if McLean himself was present. Sinclair notes that VR creates a more personal and individual experience compared to the communal nature of live theatre.

 

The incorporation of VR into the theatre industry offers an exciting blend of technology and artistry. While it may not rival the substantial investments made by technology giants like Meta and Apple, the use of VR can provide regional theatres with exposure and additional revenue streams. 

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Liam Sinclair, business manager at the Dundee Rep, understands the profound impact that early exposure to theatre can have on individuals. He witnessed the emotional connection VR created for Jim McLean’s family during a film version of the play “Smile.” Through VR goggles, they felt a profound sense of presence and connection with the late manager, sparking a deeper level of engagement compared to traditional stage performances. Sinclair recognizes that VR provides a highly personal experience that resonates on an individual level.

 

The introduction of virtual reality (VR) into the realm of theater has sparked a wave of innovation, captivating audiences with its immersive capabilities. One production that has embraced this technology is the play “Smile,” leaving a lasting impression on spectators like Roberta Doyle. Through the use of VR headsets, she was transported into the intense atmosphere of a football manager’s halftime rant, an experience that felt startlingly real.

 

Recognizing the immense potential of VR, Box Office VR, founded by Kelman and Gemma Greig-Kicks, seeks to revolutionize the theater industry by expanding its reach and attracting diverse audiences. Leveraging their expertise in film-making and touring theater, the couple has developed a platform that allows users to stream recorded performances through their own VR headsets, including affordable options like Google Cardboard VR Glasses.

 

While Box Office VR is still in its early stages, it represents a promising avenue for theaters to explore. Established venues such as London’s Sadler’s Wells dance theater and York Theatre Royal have also embraced VR, leveraging its capabilities to enhance the theatrical experience for their audiences.

 

Beyond entertainment, VR in theater has found its place in education as well. Lisa Kilbride, a drama teacher at Monifieth High School in Dundee, has incorporated Box Office VR into her teaching toolkit, offering her students a unique opportunity to explore and engage with the world of theater. The headsets enable students to gain a deeper understanding of various theatrical elements, including lighting, sound, and set design.

 

Liam Sinclair, business manager at the Dundee Rep, understands the transformative power of early exposure to theater. He witnessed firsthand the emotional impact of VR on Jim McLean’s family during a film adaptation of “Smile.” The VR experience created a profound sense of presence, as if McLean himself were in the room. Sinclair acknowledges that VR offers a highly personal and individualized experience, setting it apart from the communal nature of traditional theater.

 

While the investment in VR technology by industry giants like Meta and Apple far surpasses the current scale of VR integration in theater, regional theaters still stand to benefit from its adoption.

 

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