Digitally augmented reality characters in live theatre performances

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This article investigates what we believe to be the first use of Augmented Reality (AR) in the theatre: NTU-IERC's production of The Ultimate Commodity (based on the Gopal Baratham short story) in Singapore and Toronto (where it was re-titled Everyman: The Ultimate Commodity). Augmented Reality is different from Virtual Reality in that AR ‘supplements, rather than supplants, the real world’ (Azuma, 1). This essay describes the technological innovations employed in bringing AR to the theatre, discusses how implementing this technology enables theatrical innovation, and then uses our experience to theorize the implications of blending the virtual and the theatrical.

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