Each theatre will establish a “Laboratory for Digitisation and Theatre” (D&T Lab) at their organisation. These nine laboratories become experimental spaces for digital investigations. All D&T Labs have an identical structure and have the same tasks during the project.
The application of new narrative forms and new digital techniques also requires changed production conditions. The D&T Labs will be the production centres of the theatres for PlayOn!. There, theatre employees (artistic & technicians) meet experts for immersive technologies and new storytelling from the University of York and the Academy Dortmund, who are responsible for consultancy, technical support and monitoring. Production-related experts are called in via the nine associated partners (the local universities).
The D&T Labs are strengthened by specialists who take on special tasks such as: coding software, creating virtual spaces or 3D animations etc. In terms of recruiting these specialists, the theatres are supported by the digital experts. These specialists are employed at the theatres like guest artists (e.g. for directing or stage design etc.)
D&T Labs will be integral parts of the theatres. During the 4 years, diverse creative players will come together at these specialized co-working spaces with the goal of exploring and integrating immersive technology into theatrical processes.
As part of a European network, the theatres will have access to an international collective intelligence of digital developers, coders and trainers they could never create or finance as individual or-ganisations. In turn the digital sector can address its current serious lack of creative content through access to theatre’s artistic innovation and content generation. In this way D&T Labs are a win-win so-lution for both sectors with a high potential for the development of new business models.
The 9 D&T Labs will collaborate in co-working units for the productions. They will join forces with other D&T Labs and organise training through a step-by-step approach focused on integrating new digital co-producing processes (aiming towards immersive technology) into theatre productions. It will offer theatre staff modern working platforms to experiment and test immersive, interactive con-cepts and products.
D&T Labs will function in permanent international exchange with each other, sharing research, skills and resources.
The concentrated and international networking in the labs will change the producing culture of the theatres. They will open up to new creative sectors, but they will also share what they have learned with their own theatre sector. This is how D&T Labs be-come „centres of excellence“ for the application of immersive technologies in their countries and beyond.
A key component for the sustainable dissemination of the experiences gained from D&T Labs is the Conceptual Tool-Kit for Theatre Productions using Immersive Technologies, an ideal compendium for all other theatres who are also working on new storytelling with immersive technologies.