Virtual Theatre


Virtual TheatreImagine preparing to go to a live theatrical performance. Like most theatre, excitement is in the air. The difference is that in this performance, you are sitting at home. No need for lights, sets, and dressing rooms. The action takes place in a virtual world: the actors are all avatars, the sets and lights are virtual, all carefully created and designed by artists; and the performance is realized by using specialized software interfaced with motion control devices, data gloves, and a virtual stage manager. A ‘cast’ and 'crew' of programmers, artists, and performers networked together from locations around the world anxiously prepare, wondering how the audience will respond to their performance. To enable such a performance is the primary goal of the Virtual Theatre project.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0713201.
Collaborators
  • Marla Schweppe,  College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • David Huynh, Namco Games
  • Brian Johnstone, Darkwind Media
  • Publications
  • J. Geigel, M. Schweppe, D. Huynh, and B. Johnstone. Adapting a virtual world for theatrical performance. Computer, 44(12):33 –38, dec. 2011.
  • J. Geigel and M. Schweppe. Motion capture for realtime control of virtual actors in live, distributed, theatrical performances. In Automatic Face Gesture Recognition and Workshops (FG 2011), 2011 IEEE International Conference on, pages 774 –779, march 2011.
  • J. Geigel and M. Schweppe. What’s the buzz?: A theatrical performance in a virtual space. In L. Reznik, editor, Advancing Computing and Information Sciences, pages 109–116. Cary Press, 2005.
  • J. Geigel. Virtual theater – one step beyond machinima. The Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 13(11), nov. 2005.
  • J. Geigel and M. Schweppe. Theatrical storytelling in a virtual space. In Proceedings of the 1st ACM workshop on Story representation, mechanism and context, SRMC ’04, pages 39–46, New York, NY, USA, 2004. ACM.
  • Invited Talks / Presentations
  • Joe Geigel, Theatrical Collaboration over the Internet,  Collaboration SIG, Internet 2 Member Meeting, Chicago, IL, December 12, 2006

  • Joe Geigel and Marla Schweppe, Virtual Theatre -- Distributed Performance over the Internet, Art Grid Seminar, Presented Over the Access Grid, November 1, 2006.

  • Joe Geigel, Virtual Theatre: Adapting Gaming Technology for Theatrical Purposes (invited talk), Virtual Scenography in Live Performance, New Frontiers International Symposium, Indiana University at Bloomington, March 2-4, 2006.


  • Grants
  • Joe Geigel and Marla Schweppe, Participatory Virtual Theatre: Live Performance in a 3D Virtual Space Distributed Over the Internet, National Science Foundation (IIS-HCC) 06-572, Grant Number 0713201, July 2007.
  • Joe Geigel, Virtual Theatre -- Creation of a Distributed VR Performance Space, RIT GCCIS FEAD Grant, 2004-5.
  • Links
  • Web page for the Virtual Theatre project.
  • Related Projects
  • Collaborative Coursework for Artists and Technologists.