Hummingbird: Collaborative Virtual Reality for Tele-Immersive Interactive Theater

Performers Interact with a “Hummingbird” Virtual Scene

Researchers: Andrew Johnson, Arthur Nishimoto, Daria Tsoupikova, Sai Priya Jyothula, Jo Cattell (Goodman Theatre)


Funding: Funded in part by the UI President’s Arts and Humanities Initiative and the UIC Awards for Creative Activity Program

Transforming Storytelling: Multiuser Virtual Reality Theater for Collaborative Tele-Immersive Interaction (aka “Hummignbird”) is a collaborative project between the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Goodman Theatre. Led by Daria Tsoupikova, professor of the UIC School of Design in conjunction with Goodman’s Jo Cattell, “Hummingbird” is a multiuser theatrical performance that merges real and virtual worlds with the goal of encouraging stronger theatrical engagement with a tech-savvy younger generation audience.

The project is being designed for the Goodman Theater New Stages, which showcases innovative and experimental theater works. Chicago youth will experience “Hummingbird” by attending tele-immersive real-time performances running concurrently at the Goodman Theatre’s Alice Rapport Center and EVL’s Continuum smart space.

“Hummingbird” performers will take theatergoers on a tele-immersive journey donning virtual reality head-mounted displays and interacting with the virtual environment to tell a story via this new medium.

Performances are anticipated for mid-2021 pending pandemic regulations and clearances. See a video excerpt of “Hummingbird” on YouTube.


Date: January 15, 2019 - Ongoing

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