ASHLAND, Ore. — Two days of performances remain available today and tomorrow for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s virtual reality pop-up theater.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) today announces that its “Virtual Reality Pop-Up” theatrical experience at OSF’s Black Swan Theater is welcoming people in-person for one of five performances today and tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The program includes three theatrical experiences created for the inaugural 2021 edition of Quills Fest.
Quills Fest is OSF’s new immersive digital festival blending “live theater and extended reality”. He says: “The Virtual Reality Pop-Up offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in a wide range of theatrical explorations of the VR medium, from 360-degree filmmaking to interactive and playful narrative journeys, throughout the state of the art – artful VR headsets.”
The OSF says it has limited admission tickets for performances at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on July 13 and 14, as the last two scheduled days of the experience.
It says tickets can be purchased online at this link and at the Black Swan Theater in person pending availability. The pop-up theater program takes place at OSF’s Black Swan Theater Virtual Reality Lab, 15 S. Pioneer Street in Ashland.
Quills Fest is an annual festival showcasing “cutting edge virtual reality and immersive technology projects from interdisciplinary teams of theater makers and creative technologists.” , the art of mixed disciplines and the development of new works are at the heart. Quills Fest and this Virtual Reality Pop-Up are produced by OSF’s Innovation & Strategy team.
The three projects featured in this season’s virtual reality pop-up productions are listed by OSF as follows:
Guardian of the night
Dede Ayite – Main artist
Michael Joseph McQuilken – Main artist
Joel ‘Kachi Benson – Main artist
Michael Thurber – Composer and Sound Designer
Jennifer Harrison Newman – Movement
Tyler Alexander Arnold – Define the sound system
Costumes created by The public theater costume shop At New York
In a number of West African traditions there is a belief in spiritual guardians known as Zangbeto, Coumpo or Kwagh-hir. These beings act as spiritual guardians and emerge in a whirlwind of energy at festivals to speak to people.
Guardian of the night creates a virtual reality experience that immerses the viewer in a dark and unknown forest. A guardian appears and, through dance and movement, illuminates and guides the viewer. Raffia and a variety of recycled materials (solid materials from the world) are used to create the body of this otherworldly guardian, which only appears for a brief moment to reflect our existence to us and, in doing so, help us to find our way. The work is an exploration of movement and an embodiment of our oneness with earth and nature.
Ty Defoe – Creative Director
Dov Heichemer – Co-creative director
alpha_rats – Developer
Clara Luzian – 3D artist
Suzanne Kite and Devin Ronnenberg – Music
Anakwad is an Anishinaabe tale brought to life in an Indigiqueer dreamscape invoking the shapeshifting queer ghost as he undoes linear time and learns to unlock syllabic truths to find balance in the destructive fate of the present.
Raja Plume Kelly – Lead artist, writer, co-director
Ilya Szilak – Co-director, creative producer
Cyril Tsiboulski – Artistic Director, Technical Director, Lead Developer
Christopher Mateka – Sound design and composition of the score
Ordinary gesture is a theatrical experience in virtual reality that crosses theater, meditation and movement. It seeks to surrealize the experience of empathy by situating the player in five scenes that extend from their body to space-time (the universe) and vice versa. Inspired by movies Magnolia, Melancholyand waking lifethe poem “You are never readyby Nicole Blackman, and the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, Ordinary gesture asks the player to contemplate existence, suffering, compassion and gesture as both ingredients for creating theater and a way to perhaps better understand empathy.
OSF also launched O! in 2020 as a digital stage offering artistic performances and discussions accessible from anywhere in the world. OSF says O! attracts over 10,000 views per month from members of the public in over 50 countries.