Maintain social contact and interaction with your audiences: Developing and testing an innovative app-based theatre walk in the cities of Europe with new texts
[Subject to funding approval by German Federal Culture Foundation: results to be announced December 2020]
In view of the prevailing distance requirements that severely restrict theatre both as an experience and as a social space, there is now an urgent desire and necessity to professionalise experimental artistic means and digital forms of performance in European theatres. With Stage Your City – Reloaded, ETC aims to consolidate and develop an open source application with new features that can be used for SYC theatre walks throughout Europe. Five ETC theatres are invited to test the application, commission new texts and adapt the original digital dramaturgy concept to new cities and venues. This will re-enable access and experimental exchange with and about theatres in public spaces for the broadest possible audience across generations.
The philosophical artistic concept:
Stage Your City is based on a GPS-app-guided city walk, plays with augmented reality, 360° video and gaming elements. The participatory approach brings theatre directly into the community and creates a link between the analogue and virtual space.
The original concept of Stage Your City by Michel Didym (Artistic Director at CDN Nancy Lorraine – Théâtre de la Manufacture) is merging the trends of digitisation and participatory theatre in the urban space. Stage Your City is breaking the loneliness. Thanks to the theatre, individuals are no longer alone with their smartphones. Instead, they are connected and work together through their personal devices. The audience is asked to gather together in a theatre and to then go out and explore their city interactively, with the help of the SYC app. Through a journey, through a shared history, they create a collective memory, a personal and humanistic vision of their city. Upon their return they will share experiences and visions.
For more information about the history of the project click here.
Stage Your City – Reloaded is based on three project pillars:
- Technology development: Software/App including corresponding supporting tools (web editor, tutorials) for the programming of theater walks throughout Europe
> We want to consolidate and further develop a user-friendly digital toolkit consisting of an app for smartphones (iOS & Android), a website with web editor and training tutorials for programming and operation of SYC theatre walks
- Professionalisation and further education in the digital and artistic field: Exchange between software developers and theatre staff in the context of development workshops and application training
> Development of and exchange on new aesthetic forms that combine the analog and digital theater experience with the user-friendly interface of the cell phone; Training of theater staff to be able to use and configure the digital applications for new SYC theatre walks without specific programming skills
- Interaction: Development of new texts by ETC theatres and 5x5 Stage Your City test runs in different cities with audience
> Goal is to embed the new technologies into the existing theatre structures and create artistic output for a broad audience
The digital application:
A prototype of the app (first developed in 2018) must be reviewed and further developed. By eventually delivering an open source tool, the app (iOS, Android) would be freely available (installable via Apple AppStore and Google Play Store) and include access to an app website to programme the performance. ETC’s goal is to be able to make available and for theatre staff to use a combination of app and website to configure an interactive theatre performance without any programming knowledge.
Theatres can directly update the app through a dedicated website (web editor):define a sequence of the scenes, determine GPS coordinates of the performance locations, upload media data such as video for augmented reality (AR) scenes, audio for audio walks, etc.
Goals for 2021:
- App software and the related infrastructure of web editor and VR server must be brought up to the latest state of the art
- Extension of AR features (e.g. new so called 'markerless' technologies via GPS and scene/object tracking)
- Possible development of additional modules for new application areas tested in workshops (see below)
- Accessibility of the app via Apple Store and Google Play Store
- Extend and redesign website and renew hosting
Timeframe (01/01/2021 – 31/12/2021)
January-June 2021: Development phase (Alpha-Version)
- Consolidation of existing software
- 6 virtual meetings between developers and artistic teams: Needs assessment with ETC artistic teams to further develop the application features including new modules (GPS, AR, VR, chatbots, etc.)
July-September 2021: Revision and text production phase
- Technical: Extension of modules for new areas of application; extension of additional features
- Website design
- Content: writing phase for new texts by 10 authors in consultation with the artistic direction and the project cooperation partners
- Translation of the texts into English
September – October 2021: Training & Test phase (Beta-Version)
- Implementation of training webinars on software usage with mediators and theatre staff
- Production/programming and rehearsal phase of the individual artistic teams
- Stage Your City test runs at 5 ETC theatres
- Technical: Finalisation of the software
November 2021: Release & Evaluation
- Presentation and provision of the open source software
- Presentation of project results at the ETC International Theatre Conference
- Virtual final meeting of all project partners and On the Move for evaluation of the project
Support from ETC
ETC has submitted a funding application to the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes). Subject to funding approval ETC will support five ETC theatres with a grant of €10,000 to cover
- fees for their assigned artistic team (stage director, digital dramaturge) - €4,000
- authors fees for 2 short texts and English translation - €6,000
Five ETC theatres contribute €3,500 for production test runs
- staff costs (digital dramaturge or production management) - €1,500
- material costs - €2,000
Expression of interest
Please send your expression of interest to Teresa Pfaud (email@example.com) by 1 December 2020. Note that only ETC Members can express interest into that project.
For more information about the idea of the project or practical issues, please contact Teresa Pfaud at ETC (firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 284 41 207).