Saturday, November 13, 2010

Action! Our School's First Live Virtual Performance

Our K-12 school was immersed for a week in activities revolving around Sophocles' Antigone with loads of exciting projects across the entire curriculum. But Antigone is not for the little ones, so the drama teacher and I cooked up a virtual performance in the style of Ancient Greek theater that would give the elementary students an idea of what it looked and felt like. The drama teacher had five students in grades 10-12 rehearse an adapted Aesop's Fable, The Frogs Desiring A King, and perform it in our standalone sim. Over the summer, I made a replica of the Theatre of Dionysus and some basic clothing. So the show took place at the foot of the Acropolis, upon which The Parthenon was being built by other students! How cool is that! I had to figure out some fun solutions to theatrical problems, like the giant log, which is rezzed from a button at the top of the stage. The stairs that appear briefly are actually rezzed by the log and help the actors get on the log more easily. Voice chat is provided by FreeSWITCH and the recording was made with Fraps in the Imprudence viewer.

As it happened scheduling conflicts resulted in the students having only three 40 minute classes to go from zero to showtime. They had never set foot in a virtual world, much less get an avatar to act, so I think they did a terrific job considering. And one fell ill so the drama teacher had to step in to play Jupiter. Ah, show biz. The little kids loved the show and I think had an experience of Ancient Greek theater that was in some ways closer to the original than the rest of the school. 

No comments :