Royal Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2021)

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Most people are familiar with Shakespeare’s plays, but what if you could enter the worlds he created? In a corona reality, the Royal Shakespeare Company welcomed audiences into a Shakespeare-inspired universe through their computer screens. Online participants are welcomed by a host who transforms into an avatar, meets some sprites and engages in battle with a great storm. Both Puck and the sprites are played by actors wearing motion-tracking costumes. They respond live to what the audience is doing. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a hybrid of gaming technology, orchestral music and theatre. The Guardian wrote about the experience: 

Tech rehearsal of Dream

“The most exciting moment comes when the technology itself is exposed to the audience; the camera pans into the studio and shows us both the screen with the avatars adventuring in the forest alongside their human counterparts, enacting the drama in real-time motion capture, below the screen. The actors perform a kind of human puppetry, lifting each other up and manipulating limbs for the effects on screen.”

Arifa Akbar for The Guardian

Dream ran from 12 – 20 March 2021 via and daily reached around 7000 visitors.