Varyon VR

Varyon VR is a virtual theatre space for live and pre-recorded performance. It allows audiences to view and interact with performers, in real time, within a digital VR environment. 

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Project details

 
Project LeadKlaus Kruse/Ciaran Clarke 
Start DateSeptember 2020
End DateOngoing
 Programme Alignment Pedagogy Futures

This research project looked at creating a prototype for an adaptable and interactive virtual theatre space where actors and audience can meet.

Varyon VR enables users to construct and animate immersive theatrical sets without having to be able to program or code. The theatrical set consists of 16 interconnected panels that surround the audience. Each of the panels functions as a video screen that can either playback pre-recorded footage or live stream video.  

Primary audiences experience the virtual space by wearing VR headsets and secondary audiences are also able to view the event via a live stream. 

Varyon VR allows audiences and performers to interact and communicate directly with one another in real-time via the live streaming function. Users operate the application using phone cameras or computer webcams, ensuring that the tool has wide accessibility. 

This application can be used to stage and rehearse performances remotely and is geared towards usage in both professional and educational contexts. 

Project team

The Varyon VR project team includes:

  • Klaus Kruse - Direction and design production and app development
  • Ciaran Clarke - Technical direction design production and app development
  • Stephen Banbury - VR development production and app development
  • Mark Laville - Executive producer, Not Near Enough production
  • Hannah Wood - Dramaturgy, Not Near Enough production 
  • Verity Standen - Vocal direction, Not Near Enough production 

Klaus Kruse

Senior Lecturer, Theatre

Klaus Kruse is a director, scenographer, performer, poet and songwriter based in the UK since 2002 a...

Klaus Kruse

Ciaran Clarke

Lecturer

Ciaran began as a Lecturer at Falmouth whilst studying his for his PhD in 2018, teaching across Acti...

Ciaran Clarke
Mohini Chandra headshot

Dr Mohini Chandra

Module Leader, Fine Art MA (Online)

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art Chandra has exhibited widely, including: Paradise Now...

Dr Mohini Chandra
An image of Gina Burney

Gina Burney

Lecturer: Illustration & Graphic Design (Integrated Foundation Year)

Gina Burney is an illustrator/graphic artist, workshop facilitator and lecturer. She graduated with ...

Gina Burney
Sarah Molloy headshot

Sarah Molloy

Associate Lecturer

Sarah has worked as an Interior Designer in both the commercial and high-end residential design sect...

Sarah Molloy

Partners

Varyon VR is being supported by Living Structures, StoryFutures Academy and the South West Creative Technology Network.

Funders

This project has been supported by grant funding from the following funding bodies:

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Living Structures

Living Structures

Living Structures envelop audiences in physical structures and contraptions that transform volume, s...

Living Structures
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Story Futures

StoryFutures Academy

StoryFutures Academy is the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling run by the Nation...

StoryFutures Academy
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South West Creative Technology Network

The South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) is a £6.5 million project to expand the use of c...

South West Creative Technology Network
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Research England

Research England is a council within UK Research and Innovation. Research England oversee UK Researc...

Research England

Project value

Total value £19,000

Outcomes & outputs

The project team worked with postgraduate students from Falmouth University's Games Academy to develop VR designs. The software was then tested by students from the Academy of Music & Theatre Arts.

Varyon VR was presented at the National Student Drama Festival 2021. The project team, along with Gwirvos Theatre and students from Falmouth University, premiered the theatre show Not Near Enough which was devised to showcase the immersive digital theatre installation.
 
Varyon VR has also been presented as part of StoryFutures Academy's Train The Trainer showcase in 2021.

Impact & recognition

Although the project is still in its early stages, Varyon VR aims to offer new technologies for theatre performers and audiences to interact with one another. Varyon VR is designed to also offer new and innovative methods for productions to be staged and rehearsed remotely.

The project has offered Falmouth University students the opportunity to design software and gain experience in staging shows using innovative VR technology. Varyon VR has also influenced module delivery at Falmouth University, with the software being employed as part of the Immersive and Interactive Theatre module.

Media

Public media for Varyon VR includes:

Varyon VR 360