► Producer Andrew Asnes Brings You Broadway in 360°

Andrew Asnes
A scene from Round Hill VR's 360° promo for the Tonys, featuring the cast of Hamilton

Today on The Scene we’re looking at how technology is creating new ways for people to experience theater and dance. My guest Andrew Asnes is the founder and creative director of Round Hill VR, an immersive media agency that creates 360° video and virtual reality experiences. Past work has included a digital brochure for the Paul Taylor Dance Company and a 360° CBS promo for the 2016 Tony Awards featuring the cast of Hamilton. Asnes has also produced and/or directed works for Broadway, Off-Broadway, dance companies and film festivals. His work has been featured in the Seattle International Film Festival, deadCENTER Festival, at the Guggenheim Museum and in theaters around the world.

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How current technology can make theater more relevant to modern audiences is an issue I’m personally very passionate about. The theater industry can often seem a few steps behind the rest of the world technologically, whether it comes to distribution or simply marketing to media-savvy audiences. Asnes, however, is a pioneer at the other end of spectrum, and in our conversation he goes in great depth about how immersive media offers effective ways to both deepen the impact of specific productions and bring new audiences into the fold. (His Hamilton video, for example, currently has over 1.4 million views on YouTube.) If your organization is looking for new ways to embrace technology, or if you’re simply curious about what’s going on at the cutting-edge of theatrical innovation, I really hope you’ll give this show a listen. This technology won’t be the right fit for all productions, of course, and it isn’t here to replace the theater we know and love, but I think it has a lot to offer, both artistically or promotionally.

Andrew Asnes

Many thanks to all our listeners for your continued support. If you enjoyed this show, we hope you’ll also consider sharing it with others or on social media. (We all know how powerful personal recommendations are in helping people find new podcasts.) We also invite you to catch up on all our past episodes, either here on the CFR or by subscribing on iTunes. On Twitter, you can follow me and this show @_SeanDouglass_ or @TheSceneCFR.

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Sean Douglass

Sean Douglass is the Managing Editor of The Clyde Fitch Report, as well as an author, playwright and dramaturg. He is the Company Dramaturg for Something Marvelous, Chicago’s annual magical realism festival, and has previously worked at Northlight Theatre and Chicago Dramatists. His plays have been produced or developed at UW-Madison, The Vermont College of Fine Arts, The Chicago Fringe Festival, Luminous Theatre of Milwaukee, Something Marvelous, Chicago Dramatists and Stagecloud. He hosts the CFR’s podcast The Scene and is also an arts writer for the digital news publication Rantt.