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Immerse Your Theatrical Skill Into Immersive Technology At TOMtech Next Month

A 5-day course based in Brighton looks to bring theatre creatives into thinking virtually.

Whether you’re talking about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or something in between down the spectrum, it’s use a tool for the arts cannot now be denied. Whether painting, 3D sculpture, film or television we’ve seen it utilised in a number of different ways – and its frequency is on the increase. Barely a day goes by without us hearing of some kind of announcement relating to the arts and immersive technology. Just yesterday alone we brought you two stories, one AR and one VR, to do with an partner app for a music group’s album and a film festival’s support.

Plex-VRBut if you want to actually get involved and learn how to utilise, say VR, in a creative way where do you actually begin? Well, for those who are interested in theatrical pursuits there is now an option for them to consider. TOMtech, a programme designed to support artists and emerging technologies, today announced the launch of a new scheme called TheatreXR.  It’s a training course that instructs those in the theatre how to use and utlilse immerisve technology run by The Old Market (TOM) in Brighton,.UK.

The five day intensive course begins next month from September 3rd through to the 7th, with the opportunity to showcase completed works during October’s vrLAB event at TOM. Organisers hope that TOMtech will be able to encourage as many as one hundred theatre creatives to utilise digital tools over the next few years.

“Immersive technology offers artists a new medium with which to engage audiences. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality applications span much further than games or film, offering audiences a new level of immersion, presence and agency.” Explains TOMtech Creative Producer, James Turnbull. “These new tools have a lot to offer to artists, but the reciprocal is also true.  Live arts, such as theatre, are perhaps the best placed to help move the medium forward, bringing expertise in storytelling (and story ’doing’), innovation in narrative structures and audience emotional manipulation.  However, the tools required for this work are rather different to stagecraft – this new training programme starts to address that.”

“When you look at audience trends of the past few years it becomes immediately clear that interactivity is at the heart of what the majority of audiences look for in their culture; they don’t just want to sit and be told a story, they want to get involved.” Adds digital theatre creative talent Simon Wilkinson. “That’s why gaming is now the most important cultural medium on the planet, attracting much bigger and more engaged audiences than any other platform by far. As gaming itself matures into its post-escapist phase, adopting more sophisticated storytelling techniques and subject matters alongside the emergence of immersive technologies, a space is emerging for all of this to happen within live and location based events… presenting an opportunity, perhaps, for theatre to begin attracting larger and broader audiences once again”

Those who wish to take part in the course, which includes all training, materials, tickets to VR related events at TOM and further support from TheatreXR’s network should contact contact James Turnbull via james@theoldmarket.com or call 01273 201800. The cost of the course is £650 (GBP) per person (not including VAT) and would-be students should be able to get to Brighton for that period.

Look out for more news relating to immerive creativity on VRFocus very soon.

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