The performing arts have suffered significantly from the effects of COVID-19 and almost ceased to exist in their traditional form since March 2020, with many in the sector finding themselves out of work and unsupported. While some working lives migrated online in Teams and Zoom meetings, the performing arts required a far more co-existent video experience to adapt.
Collaborative Solutions for the Performing Arts: A Telepresence Stage is an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project led by the School of Art and Media at the University of Brighton, in collaboration with LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore and the Third Space Network in Washington DC. In response to the COVID-19 impact on the performing arts sector, this project identifies new and creative ways for actors, dancers and other performing arts professionals to rehearse and interact together in shared online spaces and to produce collaborative live performances from remote sites. In a dramatic shift from the paradigm of the web-conference grid, the Telepresence Stage offers conceptual and technical solutions to break free of these isolating constraints and provides an altogether new platform, where our experience of online connection is heightened and re-envisioned through the superimposition of our bodies in virtual spaces.