Saturday, 1 June 2013



The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived. After a year of research and experimenting, ARTLAB will show a 23 minute scene of GHOSTS; incorporating new technologies and new worlds into the realm of dramatic theatre.

But first ...

In true DIVA style, Mrs Alving has some noises to make. Not the kind of noises you want to hear on the final viewing day. The guys from the CISR attend to her demands and begin the day rectifying her sound issues and speakers. They dress her in the hoop skirt and give her eyes projected on to the mask, immediately creating a reality to the figure, and a human connection to the robot.

While the guys fine tune the star of the show, Kris focuses the lights and the actors go through the paces with Stephanie, so Canada can finalise her remote control movements and steer seemlessly through the 3D landscape.

We begin the final series of rehearsals and there is a buzz and sense of urgency in the room. Everything seems to be fitting into place.

At 4:00pm we will have 30 guests arrive to witness and survey the viewing, which will be followed by a question and answer portion to address the audiences' points of view.

At 3:00pm, the actors go back stage to get into costume and hair and makeup. During that time, Gorkem and Kim continue to battle it out on the role of Stephanie, who will not wear a mask after all, but given a whole lot more character and blocking directions. 

The technical crew are set.

Mrs Alving is ready for her close up.

The guests arrive and take their seats and given a survey which they will fill out at the conclusion of the run. Pre-show jitters take hold but everything is in readiness.

Below are a series of the weeks rehearsal videos leading to today's viewing and Q&A:

Artlab 5.1
Artlab 5.2
Artlab 5.3
Artlab 5.4
Artlab 5.5
Artlab 5.6


We have reached the second last day of ARTLAB, and there is still a lot of work to do. Everyone is on board to begin a series of rehearsals that will incorporate all the elements, with a priority of getting the robot to respond to the lines and fix any issues with sound recognition; and getting Stephanie to integrate with the performance.

One idea is to place a mask on Stephanie that mirrors the mask on Mrs Alving's robot and the face of the avatar.

The mask makes a connection between the robot, the avatar and the mocap operator, but is this enough?

More work is down to incorporate Stephanie into the performance, including her reactions and movements with Oswald, and her connection to the robot. As everything else starts to fall into place, it appears that the role of Stephanie in the mocap suit is the last thread. 

  • How can she work the avatar while connecting with the actors?
  • How can she move on stage or place herself in scenes when the avatar is not visible?
  • Is the mask working? 

The day is filled with a series of runs to refine the robots command sequences; get the sound levels correct; finalise the blocking of the actors; finalise the blocking of the mocap operator; getting the lighting states correct; and having Canada finesse her work with the controls. 

Tomorrow we show.