Experiments in Digital Storytelling is an initiative by CultureHub and La MaMa that explores the potential of emerging technologies to create dynamic and engaging live storytelling experiences. Initially set as an in-person series in The Downstairs at La MaMa, CultureHub brings the initiative fully online with open rehearsals, prototype performances, and discussions.
Director Kiira Benzing and Double Eye Studios will present glimpses of their latest production, Pandora X, as they develop performances that continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible between the real and virtual worlds. Further experiments from bringing collective art from one world into the next, to having the VR audience join the Greek chorus, shows the potential bridge between the live digital and virtual realms. Enter the world of Pandora X, where a modern take on an ancient myth reinvents the story of Pandora.
CultureHub is a global art and technology community that was born out of decades of collaboration between La MaMa and the Seoul Institute of the Arts, Korea’s first contemporary performing arts school. These two pioneering institutions sought to explore how the internet and digital technologies could foster a more sustainable model for international exchange and creativity.
Now in its 10th year, CultureHub has grown into a global network with studios in New York, Los Angeles, Korea, Indonesia, and Italy, providing connected environments for artists to critically examine our evolving relationship to technology. Through residencies, live productions, and educational programming, CultureHub advances the work of artists experimenting with emerging technologies in search of new artistic forms. CultureHub builds new partnerships that expand our network and provide increased access to online and offline platforms that fuel artist mobility, create opportunities for cultural exchange, and broaden human understanding through the convergence of art, technology, and education.
Double Eye Studios builds interactive and immersive storyworlds through emerging technology. Founded by Kiira Benzing, Double Eye Studios has been developing a process for performing to Live and Virtual audiences simultaneously. In defining and refining VR Theater, their goal is to push boundaries and to provide meaningful experiences. Their work has been exhibited at some of the most prestigious film festivals around the world including: Venice International Film Festival, Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, and the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center.
Experiments Play Reading Series
For the 23rd season of La MaMa Experiments we will focus on theatrical works in progress addressing mental health issues. No one is more familiar with the need to create greater access to mental healthcare than our New York audience, who come face to face with this crisis on a daily basis. After 3 years of a global pandemic, all of us are feeling the upsurge of anxiety and depression, but these trends have been on the rise long before Covid-19. The works this season shed light on important, personal stories and deal with this subject matter in many different and unique ways. From tongue in cheek comedies to absurdist tragedies, Experiments hopes to create a season that will destigmaify, enlighten and, yes, even entertain.
Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.