In Shakespeare’s era, a group of thespians joined together to break grounds in creating revolutionary theatres and plays. Their work can be said to be the foundational basis for modern theatre. The SL Shakespeare Company exists to relive that spirit; by bringing to the metaverse the Bard’s plays—which were written and performed in an era of nascent theatre—we hope to break grounds in developing theatre in Second Life by creating a kind of theatre only possible in the metaverse.
The SL Shakespeare Company’s task over the next few years is to bring to Second Life live productions of all of the bard’s plays. To do so, we will be integrating some esoteric cutting-edge technology with the best of theatrical talent.
Despite Second Life’s temptation in arrays of readily-available prefabs that could resurrect out of thin air the most complete stage sets, we will tend to the classical ideals of elegance, order, and balance. Our productions will be minimal in sets and prop usage, akin to black box theatre, focusing on story and acting. We will, however, take care to outfit our actor avatars with the most historically accurate and most professional clothing, skin, eyes, shape, and hair possible—to complement their performance. To take on the potential for an arbitrary number of simultaneous performances—what Second Life can offer—we will be using cutting-edge bot technology. But, above all this, we will uphold the core of live theatre: ad lib and audience interaction will be fully possible.
Each production will be taken on and financed by a private producer who would pay a share to have access to the assets of the SL Shakespeare Company. Salient assets of the company include the following departments: Wardrobe, Animation, Technology, and SL Stagecraft. Our Wardrobe Department is equipped with fashionistas well aware of period-style clothing, props, and hair, and has exclusive access to handmade custom photorealistic skins, shape, and eyes by SLface.com. Our Animation Department works closely with our Technology Department to create avatar motions that appear seamless and natural for our live production avatar bots. Our “SLS” or SL Stagecraft department works closely with the producer of each play and our other departments to choreograph the final live production.
The premier production to open in 2008 is Hamlet, which is taken on by Ina Centaur Productions. Ina Centaur is also the founder of the SL Shakespeare Company, and will be contributing many of the Company’s foundational technologies and means.