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.
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.
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