Play On!New Storytelling with Immersive Technologies

PlayON! is a successful larger scale cooperation project announced by the European Commission under their European Culture Funding Stream Creative Europe.
The project was initiated by 9 theatres with experience in the use of digital technologies and a university with high digital expertise. 6 of the theatres have already played an important role in the EU funded project PLATFORM Shift+. The Estonian project leader, VAT Teater from Tallinn, was one of them. 8 universities from the creative digital sector are associated partners in order to facilitate access to technical knowledge.

The digital transformation is causing major changes in our societies. Contemporary theatre must understand the processes of digital change and incorporate the changed communication models of people into its new concepts.
Dedicated to the theme “Concrete Utopias in the Digital Age” PlayON! is designed to understand, learn, test and apply immersive technology in (e.g. immersive gaming structures, Augmented and Virtual reality, Binaural Sound, Holography, SLAM /simultaneous location and mapping/, Project mapping etc.) in order to shift classical storytelling to interactive narrative formats.
Within 4 years the partners aim:

  • to develop new forms of storytelling, building on narrative structures used in the creative game sector
  • to merge these new forms with a variety of immersive technologies
  • to use this new format to extend theatre towards the public urban space (immersive outreach) with relevant stories and the involvement of young adults as co-creators.

In 3 phases, the theatres will work on one of the objectives in terms of content and technology. The learned gained at each stage will enrich the next phase; at the end 27 productions will be created in total. After 4 years the partners aim to have established new links between the artistic, professional training and industrial sectors. The most visible legacy will be a WIKI, an open source manual for theatres using immersive technology.

The overall project has been awarded the maximum grant of €2,000,000  (48 % of the total budget) and will run from 2019 – 2023.

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