Lyric Theatre is delighted to announce further plans of their digital ambition which also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the opening of the building. Live to Digital, a partnership with Future Screens NI is a pilot project exploring the future role of digital experiences within the theatre.
Following a nationwide open call, Live to Digital has commissioned six artist-led theatre projects to explore how to place the imaginative use of digital technology at the heart of the storytelling and performance. The projects will consider digital experiences from VR to AR and spatial technologies. The projects will also explore the artistic process of creating theatre to reach a digital audience during restrictions and post Covid-19, and enable the Lyric to continue to deliver excellence in digital cultural production. The first stage development will receive funding up to £15,000, with learnings used to inform the digital programming of the Lyric.
Along with the theatre’s recent announcement of a Digital Production Manager role, projects like Live to Digital are an important step in the Lyric’s ambition to develop the theatre’s digital infrastructure, expertise, and build on their digital success over the last 12 months.
Despite their stages being dark, as a result of the impact of the Pandemic, the Lyric continued to engage with audiences through online, digital, and broadcast content, producing a comprehensive programme of high-quality digital content. This included a four-part series of new work across different art forms (New Speak), a new series of audio readings of new work from Northern Ireland (Listen at the Lyric), a series of short films commissioned by the BBC (Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama – nominated for a Royal Television Award), a full staging of a new play recorded for broadcast by BBC 4/ BBC Arts (Sadie) and digital versions of the Lyric’s Creative Learning productions for distribution to schools across Northern Ireland (Blackout & Eco Schools).
Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer at the Lyric, said:
“We were delighted to partner with Future Screens NI on the open call to find artists for the Live to digital project, and were thrilled with the response from artists all over the country. The six chosen projects will examine and test new and innovative ways to tell stories, connect with audiences, and to recreate the collective experience – albeit at a distance, in a digital form. All the digital initiatives we have announced in recent months set the Lyric on a course to become a leader in live-to-digital output. As well as looking to our future we are delighted to also mark the 10th birthday of the new building on Ridgeway Street. Whilst we haven’t been able to welcome audiences for over a year we have worked tirelessly to keep the spirit of the lyric alive through digital programming for our audiences.”
Paul Moore, Future Screens NI, added:
“Future Screens NI is privileged to be a partner in this important initiative. Live to Digital is an excellent example of the kind of work which will ensure the creative industries become embedded in all areas of the creative environment. Live to Digital allows new and emerging technologies to underpin the process of finding new ways to tell important stories, but crucially methodologies which will always put the narrative first. I have no doubt the work which evolves from Live to Digital will be groundbreaking and I look forward to seeing and hearing the finished productions.”
Inferno21 – by Niall Austin, Donal Shiels, Robin Price
Inferno21 is a theatrical re-imagining of Dante Alighieri’s early 14th century masterpiece, (but) where Hell is now portrayed as the modern digital landscape, with social media and data collection providing a canvas for exploring contemporary human behaviours and transgressions.
Presented using ‘experiential’ 360 technology, Inferno21 will see the Rings of Hell located in the Digital Landscape, the 7 Deadly Sins are presented as common online behaviours (Instagram = Envy, Twitter = Rage, Tinder = Lust). With the ‘contrapasso’ of typical behaviours encountered within these platforms reflecting both the real-life consequences experienced everyday on Social Media, as well as in the evolution of modern societal values.
Wheel! Of! Justice! – by Michael Patrick, Oisín Kearney, Ciara Elizabeth Smyth
Wheel! Of! Justice! is an interactive theatrical experience where the audience will decide the fate of an individual accused of murder. Presented live in a theatre whilst being steamed to an audience at home; Wheel! Of! Justice! is a high energy game show where we explore mob mentality, the halo effect, society’s de-sensitization to violence and how anonymity affects online behaviour.
Macbeth VR – by Hannah Mullan and Camille Donegan
Hannah, Camille and RetiniZe will build a new type of immersive experience that will open up the stories of Shakespeare to new audiences in an engaging and innovative way.
Macbeth VR will explore the connection between the immersive virtual experience, empathy, storytelling , and technology. It will examine the success of fusing two forms of practice, one embedded in deep appreciation of classical verse delivery, the other embracing cutting-edge technology as the key to unlocking character exploration and development.
The Dear Spirit – by Tara Lynne O’Neill, Paul Keogan, Sinead Diskin
The Dear Spirit project is an exploration into the best of modern digital audio technology and lighting design and combining it with traditional illusion techniques to interrogate a genre often neglected in theatre; Horror.
#Nohomo – by Conan McIvor, John D’Arcy, Hanna Slättne, Mahon McCann, Ryan O’Neill , Cillian Lenaghan
#Nohomo is a “virtual theatre” research project exploring the ideas and values surrounding young men growing up during the pandemic period, specifically; body image, emotional relationships, and attitudes to sexuality and gender.
Interactive theatre for live and virtual audiences – by Paula McFetridge, Cormac O’Kane, Stephen Quinn
This project considers the potential of digital technology within socially engaged theatre, empowering audiences through embracing user-friendly interactivity. Offering live and virtual audiences the same opportunities to participate in narrative outcomes.