The MT Space research project

‘All that is needed for an act of theatre... is an empty space.’ Peter Brook

Between 4 - 8 April 2022, researchers and virtual theatre-makers from DC Labs are running a collaborative project to create a test-bed rehearsal and production space. The project aims to demonstrate how live and interactive music and theatre productions can be staged in the metaverse. 

Working remotely with professional cast and crew, and experts in the field of architectural, scenographic and lighting design, the team will use a commercially available web-based VR platform to create a series of test-bed productions aimed at addressing the technical and artistic challenges of staging interactive and immersive live events in digital environments.

Throughout the week-long workshop, colleagues, fellow researchers and practitioners are welcome to visit the MT Space where members of the team will be on hand to demonstrate some of their creative solutions for building a live performance space in VR. There will also be an option to visit the MT Space following the production week. 

The project brings together immersive theatre practitioners and post graduate researchers from the University of York, Rose Bruford College (UK) and Washington University, St Louis (USA), many of whom are specialists in technical theatre design and virtual production methods. 

It is paradoxical that in any VR platform, an empty performance space has first to be designed and built. This is analogous, in physical terms, to having to build the four walls of the theatre and equip it before putting on a show. 

In forming creative partnerships with external institutions who are engaged in parallel research, this week-long workshop will allow the research team to share existing skills and knowledge with academics and theatre-makers from across the globe, engaged in the innovative field of live performance in virtual and augmented reality. 

If you would like a demonstration of The MT Space, or for further information, please email Mary Stewart-David or Daniel Lock.

The project is funded by a University of York Humanities Research Centre Collaborative Grant.

Who's involved

University of York: Mary Stewart-David, Daniel Lock (DC Labs & TFTI), David Gochfeld (DC Labs, XR Stories), Kate Valentine (TFTI), Vira Chimalapati (Archaeology)

External Collaborators: Professor Rob Morgan (Washington University, St Louis, USA) & Dr Nick Hunt (Rose Bruford College (UK)

The MT Space Cast: Vivian Belosky & Daniel Ghezzi.