Avatar Repertory Theater challenges barriers and explores art, theater and stagecraft in immersive, user-created virtual worlds. Actors, directors, designers, playwrights and producers are connected around the globe to create live performances in real time to be enjoyed by an international audience. We currently have a presence in Second Life®, Kitely and the OpenSim virtual world grids.
How do we do this? We can build the environment for our performances by constructing set pieces and detailed props using the 3D object creation tools that come bundled with the virtual world interface. Some set examples by one of our set builders – Judith Cullen – can be seen here. Sometimes our performance space has been a totally immersive environment for the audience to become a part of. Other times we build a traditional set on a stage with audience seating in front within a theater building we have also constructed. These spaces reside on our own “sim” in the virtual world platform. Avatar/character creation uses a blend of these tools and another inworld avatar customizer. Original costumes and custom textures are created in outside graphical drawing software, like Photoshop, and uploaded to the virtual world.
Calling it electronic puppetry, we use live miked voice acting while simultaneously manipulating our avatars with keyboard and mouse in our created 3D virtual space. It takes a combined set of special skills to smoothly move the avatars and voice act for the live audiences who are also able to be present – in their own avatars – within our virtual space.
We perform everything from the classics – Shakespeare, Chekhov, Moliere, Sophocles – to modern plays, radio plays, original scripts and adaptations.