As Broadway and the West End are desperate to reopen after a full year of lockdowns due to the outbreak of COVID-19, actor Brendan Andolsek Bradley couldn’t wait to get back on stage, so he began building his own, using extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR). In his most recent release, Bradley put himself inside the famous Georges Seurat painting while singing a selection from the musical, Sunday in the Park with George by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.
Known as “America’s scrappy storyteller” (AR Post) Bradley is repurposing free online tools, to create browser-based, live experiences that allow audiences to attend and interact with his performance on almost any device. He is betting that these open-source technologies can help reopen theaters worldwide. And he’s not alone. Bradley has joined a virtual theater revolution with his work providing a micro-budget alternative to The Under Present’s Oculus-dependent VR production of The Tempest and The Royal Shakespeare Company’s upcoming Dream
which allows the audience to interact with the performance, but cannot be experienced in VR.
In a recent interview with Playable Agency, CEO Evo Heyning claimed Bradley is “open sourcing virtual theater in a way I had never seen before or since,” going on to say, “[Bradley] figured out some interesting ways to scale [himself] as an interactive host…who can go across meta verses.”
Four years ago, actor, Bradley established The Integrative Technology Lab at New York University for integrating emerging technologies in live performance and supporting the next generation of multi-disciplinary storytellers. In a way, Bradley has ushered America in particular and the world as a whole to the virtual theatre, spending his quarantine developing free tutorials and tricks to help the creative community get back to work.
No wonder, others like Black Revolution Theatre Workshop, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theater Communications Group, Theater Resources Unlimited, Ithaca College, Purchase College, University of Southern Mississippi, and scores of performing artists have consulted and integrated his tools and tutorials.
Aside from the “new normal” of Zoom readings and virtual benefit events, Brendan has turned his living room into a D.I.Y. green screen stage and motion capture studio to perform “on” stages across the country, the world, and beyond.
So what’s next? After Bradley’s successful staging of a virtual reality play with actors in three different cities, he’s inviting the entire theater community to build the Future Stages of live entertainment. Last week, he premiered #OnBoardXR, an evening of short live performances produced, rehearsed, and performed within two weeks entirely in web-based virtual reality, demonstrating several different forms and styles of fully-immersive, virtual theater production from around the world.
Media Details -
Name - Brendan Bradley
Email - [email protected]
City - Los Angeles
Country - USA
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