English Research Seminar: Virtual Reality and ‘The Tempest’

English Research Seminar:

“Immersion in a Time of Distraction: Virtual Reality and ‘The Tempest'”

The English Research Institute at De Montfort University in Leicester, England, is delighted to announce the third of its English Research Seminars for 2021-2022. The seminars will take place online and are free but booking is essential.

Our speaker is Dr Erin Sullivan from the Shakespeare Institute and her topic is “Immersion in a Time of Distraction: Virtual Reality and ‘The Tempest'”. The talk will be on 9 February
2022 from from 14.00 to 15.30 United Kingdom time.

You can book a place by emailing the organizer, Prof Gabriel Egan: gegan@dmu.ac.uk

Here is the abstract for Dr Sullivan’s talk:

Among the many digital Shakespearean offerings that appeared during lockdown was one that made waves in the tech industry: a Virtual Reality (VR) ‘Tempes’t, produced by the California-based gaming studio Tender Claws, which involved a live actor and audience members meeting in real-time courtesy of VR technology.

With many actors out of work due to theatre closures, the creative team at Tender Claws pushed forward plans to produce one of the first professional, ticketed, live theatre productions staged in VR. This talk draws on the speaker’s experience of the production and the wider gaming world that ‘Tempest’ was a part of (‘The Under Presents’), as well as interviews with the creative team. It considers the intertwined aims and histories of immersive theatre and digital gaming, and the forms of connection and dislocation that emerge when performers and audiences come together across vast geographical and cultural distances. Through all this, it asks what it means to be mentally, emotionally, and physically absorbed in a work of art during a time of unprecedented anxiety, suffering, and distraction.

You can see the full programme of our English Research Seminars for the year at: http://cts.dmu.ac.uk/events/ERS-2021-2022