Storytelling is changing. The experiences that capture the imagination are those that bring the audience into the world of the characters. Virtual reality takes the sense of immediacy to a whole other level, where the narrative feels all the more immediate and real. These new depths to storytelling are still young, and for the National Theatre, there is a lot of experimentation to be done.
Having worked closely with the National Theatre to develop immersive experiences in the past, the next step was to design a unique, experimental space where their creatives could build new worlds with new technologies. The result is a creative incubator, introducing digital technologies to traditional mediums, with immersive tools offering creatives a multitude of platforms to explore.
A Space to Create
The Immersive Storytelling Studio is where the National Theatre works with artists and emerging technologies to develop new dramatic work and experiences. Theatrical experiences are about the next level of immersive narrative, and VR is one of the most engaging new technologies there is, giving creatives a new set of tools to tell their stories, in new ways. The Immersive Storytelling Studio examines how Virtual Reality (VR), 360⁰ film, augmented reality and other emerging technologies can widen and enhance the NT’s remit to be a pioneer of dramatic storytelling and to enable an audience to stand in the shoes of another.
The traditional theatre audience is no longer the same spectator. We developed a space within which to explore, and introduced the theatre to the different. This enables writers in residence to think beyond the four walls. The studio is now being used extensively by set and costume designers also, providing a unique creative process built for experimentation and innovation. The work is divided into three broad strands of activity: Homegrown, a series of projects originated entirely within the National Theatre; Partnerships, formal partnerships with creative, technical and commercial collaborators; Artist Residencies and Support, working with a selected group of artists and organisations to help them realise how these technologies can work for them.
The Immersive Storytelling Studio continues to produce backstage, rehearsal room and on stage 360⁰ film content, giving audiences a unique perspective ‘behind the scenes’ at the National Theatre. The Immersive Storytelling Studio examines how Virtual Reality (VR), 360⁰ film, augmented reality and other emerging technologies can widen and enhance the NT’s remit to be a pioneer of dramatic storytelling and to enable an audience to stand in the shoes of another.