Make Some More Noise is one of the first generation of Digital R&D Fund for the Arts supported projects, which sees Unlimited team up with technology partners Storythings and the Product Research Studio at University of Dundee. Together we’ve been testing how emerging behaviours around mobile reading devices and technologies can help the performing/live arts to create new forms of digital storytelling based on the live experience.
In January 2014 we have launched a prototype of UNeditions, a new platform which creates digital playscripts for mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktop computers.
More than filming a show or publishing a traditional playscript ever could, we want to offer people a beautiful take-home experience – to create a sort of digital bottle that includes the sound, lighting, atmosphere that we handcraft (using technology) that people can then open at home. A gift.
Playscripts on UNeditions are able to include elements of a live performance (lighting and sound) and the project also takes a bold new approach to text layout to create a rich theatrical reading experience.
The prototype has been built for our most recent show “The Noise”, and can be viewed free of charge from any web browser.
Over the coming months other plays, including Where From Here by the brilliant Third Angel, will be published using the new digital format, and will be available for free until November.
Jon says: “This project is a sincere, rigorous wondering about how we – as theatre makers and as a wider arts community – can better transpose the stories we’re telling to other mediums. I’m excited by the potential that our digital playscript has to allow existing audiences to deepen their understanding of the work we make, and also, importantly, open our and our sector’s work up to a much wider range of people.”
The platform will be developed continually and will be opened up in late 2014, with playwrights and theatre companies able to self-publish their own digital playscripts and distribute them through an online library of digital plays.
UNeditions has been developed in partnership with technology partner Storythings, researchers from the Product Design Research Studio, University of Dundee and a group of 20 people including theatre-goers in Leeds.
It is one of the first research projects supported by NESTA’s Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.
The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is a £7million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. It is a partnership between Arts Council England, Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Nesta.
For our research process, we recruited a ‘Community Lab’: a group of 20 participants from West Yorkshire, who are working with us through a series of open-source ‘co-design’ workshops that see the potential users of the technology involved at every step of the design process. Together explored what opportunities tablet devices can offer artists and audiences to create immersive and theatrical reading experiences.
Plus NESTA’s digital magazine Native has a really interesting write-up of one of the workshops from the process.