In most European countries, theatres have faced closures and interruptions for almost a year. Now that the end of the pandemic is becoming visible, the re-start and reopening of theatres is associated with much hope. Theatres hope to reconnect with their audiences and artists hope to be able to realise the new themes of the time.
The EU-funded platform PlayOn!, consisting of 9 theatres with experience in the artistic use of digital technologies and 9 universities with proven digital expertise, held a two-day Creative Online Forum: Relaunching theatres on the transmedia stage on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 March.
The conference focussed on best practice theatre productions that combine immersive theatre with reality gaming elements and/or use XR technologies. Panel discussions explored, among other things, how theatre aesthetics change and expand through XR technologies and how interactive narrative structures challenge authors and audiences. In working groups we discussed and tested the demands on actors, set design and dramaturgy. Keynote speeches explored the utopias that can lead us out of the crisis and immerse our audiences on these new XR stages.