Art and Exploration, Second Life

Live Theater in Second Life

Andrew Eglinton is a PhD student in the UK who’s really interested in new and developing forms of theater. He recently took an interest in Second Life as a theater environment. After looking at it, he concluded that “Combined, these artefacts form the basis of an emerging culture - borderless, transient and democratised” and also writes that “the impact of the real time Web on the infrastructure of theatre is undeniable. It is changing the way we encounter theatre, the way we learn and talk about it, and it has given rise to new exploratory practice.”

Eglinton arranged an interview with Joyce Timmerman and Ze Moo, who co-organized the ‘Live Machinima Theatre’ which took place in SL that fused musical theatre, performance art, stand up comedy and experimental cinema.”

Some of the conclusions are illuminating. One of the performers, Lauren Weyland, used identity confusion to build her comedy act. SL also aids in the theater concepts of ‘transformation’ and ‘visual illusion’ because of the complexities of avatar creation. Some artists also engaged the audience in an avatar swap, blurring the line between performers and audience.

“Virtual theatre is more immersive, like being part of a live, interactive movie,” said Ze Moo.

The full interview delves further into issues of documentation and archiving, the logistics of putting on a theater show in Second Life, and the substantial interactions between the audience, producers, and performers.


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