Project Name: Gathered Together - Virtual Reality Theatre
Electric Company Theatre is producing a suite of virtual reality narrative shorts that are companion pieces to a new large-scale cinematic/theatrical hybrid performance currently in development. Collectively titled “Gathered Together”, the five short experiences allow viewers to choose individual characters from the play and inhabit their consciousness, experience their perceptions, and access their memories in a set of stories about a family empire on the verge of collapse.
Theatre Audiences will be able to see from the characters’ points of view and be placed directly inside the story. Merging the immediacy and collaborative nature of theatre with the immersive and intensely private quality of virtual reality speaks to the story’s themes of individual truths and the shared construction of our reality. VR users are drawn into a narrative experience that connects them via the content to a live performance.
Kevin Kerr elaborates: “The stories told in both the stage production and the Virtual Reality shorts explore contemporary themes of the rights of dying, corruption within the real estate sector, and the moral and ethical responsibilities that come with unearned/unrecognized privilege. Audiences will witness a deeply human, suspenseful and often wickedly funny story of a family rocked by exposed truths in the face of death.”
Along with core funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the City of Victoria, Electric Company Theatre receives support through partnerships with the National Arts Centre, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Victoria.
The Virtual Reality component of the project requires 25 artists including actors, writers, director, designers, cinematographer, editor, and numerous other skilled technicians and creators. Funds from Creative BC support these artists and allow the company to employ a BC-based app developer. There will also be apprentice positions for emerging artist, developers, and producers with the project.