Pilot Theatre is an international touring theatre company, who specialise in interactive and participatory productions. They used XR Stories funding to create The Archive, an interactive experience that explores joy and happiness in young adults aged 14-25. The project takes the form of a science fiction story and is experienced using a branching narrative and game-like structure. The project brings together elements of theatre and gaming.
The experience was originally conceived to be played by up to 30 people at one time, lending itself well to school groups and in spaces such as offices, studio theatres and school halls. In light of the pandemic situation, the team addressed concerns around social distancing by moving more of the project online, to vastly increase the number of participants and also help to reduce barriers to accessibility.
Pilot Theatre placed young people at the heart of this project, consulting them at each stage – script development, co-creation of content, testing the game mechanics in the story and developing the technology. The R&D project has led to the creation of an accessible product for Pilot Theatre’s audiences, which has now formed part of their repertoire.
Lucy Hammond, projects producer at Pilot Theatre, says:
“We have built a strong ‘story world’ with the Archive and further R&D would be interesting to explore expanding this into a longer game. An interesting challenge would be to expand the world of the game, perhaps for an international audience”.
The project was also assisted by Dr Ben Kirman, from the University of York.
The Archives project is explored in more depth in The XR Stories Podcast.