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Staging Mixed Reality: A Theatre Design Symposium. In collaboration with UAL

Thu 5 March, 10am - 5pm

Join world leading designers, directors and theatre companies, as well as leading academics for a one-day symposium considering the practical and creative possibilities of mixed reality and virtual worlds in theatre and performance.

Staging Mixed Reality will focus on the ever-evolving field of mixed reality performance and will examine the new aesthetics being developed through digital possibilities. From interactive media to virtual reality, animation to video gaming, technology has enabled theatre practitioners to offer varied perspectives of reality that reimagine theatrical worlds.

Staging Mixed Reality will consider how real and virtual worlds have been combined in performance to produce new environments and encounters for audiences. It will explore the critical and creative processes involved in the discipline and ask key questions of its practice, such as:

What methods do designers, digital designers and directors use to achieve their intended effects and affects in performance? How are the boundaries of performance expanded through mixed reality and virtual worlds? And, to what extent do virtual worlds in theatre reframe or transform how we interact with the real world?

With these questions and more in mind, this theatre design symposium will explore how experiments with technology and digital media have shaped and altered the versions of reality represented on stage today.

Contributors: Suzanne Andrade, Arnold Aronson, Toby Coffey, Steve Jelley, Sophie Jump, Roma Patel and Dick Straker, including a presentation of work by BA Theatre Design students from Wimbledon College of Arts.

Staging Mixed Reality is convened by Dr Matthew McFrederick, Professor Eileen Hogan and Professor Jane Collins as part of a collaboration between Research at Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon’s Public Programme, the National Theatre and the Jocelyn Herbert Archive.

Tickets: £55 / £40 (senior citizens) / £15 (students/U18s/entry pass)

UAL students and staff should use the promo codes when booking tickets. Please contact [email protected] for more info.

Credit: Monostatos threatens Pamina in The Magic Flute, co-conceived by 1927 & Komische Opera Berlin. Co-directed by Suzanne Andrade & Barrie Kosky; Animation by Paul Barritt.

Schedule (timings and speakers subject to change):


9.30 – 10.00



10.00 – 10.15

Welcome and Opening Remarks –

Judith Merritt (National Theatre, Head of Talks and Exhibitions)

Eileen Hogan (Wimbledon College of Arts and Jocelyn Herbert Archive Trustee)

Simon Betts (Dean of Performance, Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Colleges of Arts)


10.15 – 11.10


The Reality of Things

Arnold Aronson

Emeritus Professor of Theatre at Columbia University


Introduced by Jane Collins


11.10 – 11.30



11.30 – 12.00

Sensing Scenography: Empowering Audiences

Roma Patel

Scenographer and Installation Artist at Digital Set Design;

Founder at Makers of Imaginary Worlds.


12.00 – 12.30

Vicarious Reality

Dick Straker

Video and Projection Designer at Mesmer;

Lecturer of BA Digital Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts.


12.30 – 13.00

Panel Discussion

Chaired by Jane Collins


13.00 – 14.00



14.00 – 14.20

Presentation by BA Theatre Design students

Wimbledon College of Arts

Facilitated by Jane Collins, Peter Farley and Sophie Jump


14.20 – 15.00

Mixed Realities Panel Discussion

Toby Coffey (Immersive Storytelling Studio, National Theatre)

Steve Jelley (Dimension Studio)


Introduced by Judith Merritt

Chaired by Arnold Aronson


15.00 – 15.20






15.20 – 15.50

Layered realities in the immersive site-specific performances of Seven Sisters Group

Sophie Jump

Senior Lecturer in Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts and Co-Artistic Director of Seven Sisters Group



15.50 – 16.20



Suzanne Andrade

Co-Artistic Director of 1927


16.20 – 16.50

Panel Discussion

Chaired by Matthew McFrederick


16.50 – 17.00


Closing Remarks

Arnold Aronson


17.00 – 18.00

Drinks Reception in the Duffield Studio.



Monostatos threatens Pamina in Barrie Kosky’s The Magic Flute. 1927 Production

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