Immersive 'Between Worlds' report published

21 June 2013

Rachel Atkinson

UCLan’s Paul Egglestone co-authored the research and development article

Pictured below: Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of the West of England and the University of Dundee in a postproduction feedback session with Punchdrunk Theatre Company in their specially adapted theatre hotel in New York.

A charity has published the findings of a digital research and development report produced by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and two other universities.

Nesta, an independent charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life, has published its 'Between Worlds' digital research and development report on an immersive theatre production and research project in New York; a production described as a mash-up between Macbeth and Hitchcock.

The project was a collaboration with Punchdrunk Theatre's 'Sleep No More', technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and research methodologies - dubbed Insight Journalism - developed by UCLan’s Media Innovation Studio, the University of the West of England and the University of Dundee.

Paul Eggleston Nesta Project

Taking place between January and May 2012, the research examined whether an online incarnation of the production, streamed from the converted building 'Sleep No More' was being performed in – could offer "quality of the physical and visceral, live experience that is at the heart of immersive work".

"The experiment would attempt to join two audience members together to experience a coherent, shared storyline. One physically present in the space of Sleep No More, one online, remotely on a laptop or other computer," the report continues.

The report, co-authored by UCLan’s Media Innovation Studio Director Paul Egglestone, examines the tensions between the real and virtual worlds, challenges of experience prototyping and the combination of the human experience and rendering of Artificial Intelligence when the virtual and physical are combined.