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SL Shakespeare Company Press Info

Founded in 2007, the Ina Centaur SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) is the first and only professional theatrical production troupe set completely in the virtual world of Second Life (SL). In conjunction with the Virtual Shakespeare Consortium (vSC), SLSC is the curator of Second Life’s most historically accurate theatres and architecture relating to William Shakespeare.

"Our working philosophy aims to make each show memorable... to transcend the limits of Second Life, to really reach out to people, especially those whom traditional theatre can't reach... but, above all, we exist to preserve the tradition of live theatre—and Shakespeare!—in this new frontier of virtual worlds."
— Ina Centaur, Artistic Director

Brief Facts:

  • SLSC performs live theatre in the interactive 3d virtual world of Second Life; SLSC does not currently produce machinima. (more)
  • SLSC focuses on creating virtually one main Shakespearean play each year, and several other minor productions, such as modern plays. (more)
  • SLSC contributes a new innovation to the nascent field of virtual theatre with each production. (more)
  • SLSC reaches out to all locations around the world, from those witnessing and participating in a show at an inner city library terminal, to those in the middle of a rural expanse in Africa. (more)
  • SLSC is an independent third party unaffiliated with Second Life (SL) or Linden Lab (LL), the company that manages SL. (more)


SLSC Performs Virtual Theatre

SLSC performs live theatre in the interactive 3d virtual world of Second Life. All SLSC shows are performed live by real actors controlling and voicing virtual avatars. Performances are currently in English, with multi-language subtitles. Auditions are held completely within SL; actors come from around the world, from over 15 countries. Audience members come from over 50 countries, from all economic sectors. Shows are performed in the SL Globe Theatre (capacity: 400), Blackfriars Theatre (capacity: 100), or the extended Shakespeare island. Venue footage:

SLSC does not currently produce machinima, because the experience of a live show cannot be thusly captured. Periodically, SLSC engages in autonomous productions, powered by bots, that can be witnessed at any time.


SLSC Productions as Virtual Creations

SLSC creates immersive experiences for its virtual theatrical productions, taking artistic precedence in designing both set items and avatars that are brought to life by professional actors onSLSC's virtual stage.

SLSC performs unabridged Shakespearean plays in "bite-sized chunks," focusing on a single scene or act, then involving audience interaction to continue the rest of the act or play. Playbills and other production photographs are enclosed in context.

In 2008, SLSC's main Shakespearean canon was Hamlet:

In 2009, SLSC's main Shakespearean canon was Twelfth Night:

SLSC has also performed modern plays, as well as other productions not relating to the year's canon:

SLSC productions can be extended by SLSC's audience members, when they take on SLSC assets for SL's great pasttime of role-playing. SLSC's fostering of professional-quality historically accurate architecture establishes environments that invite the audience's imagination to create their own era plays.


SLSC Productions and Innovations to Virtual Theatre

SLSC establishes precedents for virtual theatre on Second Life:
  • First 4-sim theatre and performance of Shakespearean play (Hamlet 1-1 Extended in February 2008.)
  • First and only professional theatre production company (We pay our actors RL union wages!)
  • First performance of a full unabridged Shakespearean play (Twelfth Night, Staged Reading Series in June 2008.)

SLSC has set standards and procedures for optimizing load times on textures, lag-resistant loading and placement of multi-scene sets, and using actor-avatar alt's.

SLSC has developed technologies for virtual theatre including real time multi-language subtitle systems, lag-free multi-scene systems, and multi-use resources for archetypal productions of select Shakespearean plays.

SLSC introduces a new innovation with each production.


SLSC and the Extended Community

SLSC, its theatres, and other Shakespearean environments have been used in context of various community endeavors from lecture environments to course components to student-produced productions to studies in virtual architecture.

SLSC has a wide range of outreach. SLSC shows have been seen live on computers in inner city libraries and schools, laptops in rural expanses in Africa and other third-world countries, and executive meeting presentation screens.

SLSC has presented at several notable conferences, including NAST (National Association of Schools of Theatre), SLCC (SL Convention), and VWBPE (Virtual World Best Practices in Education).


SLSC Is Brought To You By Viewers Like You

SLSC is fiscally sponsored by sLiterary, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the arts in virtual worlds. SLSC is not affiliated with Second Life, or Linden Lab, the company that manages Second Life. SLSC is a resident-funded and resident-sponsored endeavor. Although primarily sponsored by private patrons, SLSC holds several innovative and engaging public fundraisers throughout the year. Selected footage below:



Disclaimer: This media asset is free for use in editorial broadcast/print/online/radio reports. It is restricted for use for other purposes. The SL Shakespeare Company (sLiterary, Inc.) reserves the right to withdraw permission for the use of footage at any time.