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Virtual Reality Collaboration with University of Utah’s Musical Theatre Department

“I knew immediately that we should use this technology to offer the audience a bird’s eye view of what the actors experience on the stage.” This was what Denny Berry, the University of Utah’s Musical Theatre Program Head, thought after a meeting with the Marriott Library’s New Media Projects Specialist, Tony Sams. The technology Berry was excited about was the new GoPro Fusion 360 camera (pictured above with Sams) and its ability to create immersive virtual reality experiences. From that meeting, Sams coordinated and provided the actors playing Doctor Van Helsing and Dracula with the camera to record the number, “It’s Over – Zu Ende”.

When the videos are viewed through the lens of a virtual reality capable headset such as the Oculus Quest or the HTC Vive, the experience is transformed into an on-stage personal performance. Users have the ability to look around the stage to see all the intricate work put into the musical, plus the audio adapts to where the headset is facing.

Denny Berry, Department of Theatre, University of Utah
Photo credit: Department of Theatre, University of Utah.

“We are already brainstorming about future ways to use the technology in both performing and teaching. Tony Sams is a fantastic partner in looking for ways we can enhance our students experiences. This is thrilling and I know it will lead to future as yet unknown adventures.”

 

Denny Berry

Director, Choreographer Dracula, the Musical

“Dracula” opens Friday Sept. 13 in Marriott Center for Dance with performances through Sept. 22. Come see the show and have the virtual reality experience! Tickets are available here. 

For more information about these technologies or to schedule a VR viewing, contact Tony Sams at 801-585-9780 or tony.sams@utah.edu. 

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