From Broadway to VRChat: Discussing Immersive VR Theater with the Finding Pandora X Team
Time & Location
About the Event
Date: Saturday, March 27th, 12:30-2:00pm PDT | 3:30-5:00pm EDT
Event Access: Zoom
- Kiira Benzing, Director + Founder of Double Eye Studios
- Alyssa Landry, Narrative Director for Double Eye Studios + Creative Director of Ludus Haus
- Joanna Popper, Executive Producer + Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment, HP Inc
- Jonathan David Martin, Actor + Co-Artistic Director of Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative
- Mark Sternberg, Lead Developer and Technical Producer of Double Eye Studios + XR Producer at REVRIE Immersive Works
- Eve Weston, Panel Moderator + CEO of Exelauno + VR sitcom comedy writer
Ancient mythology never anticipated that you could explore Mount Olympus from your living room. But Double Eye Studios makes it possible for you to join the Greek chorus in Finding Pandora X. Winner of the Venice Biennale's Best VR Immersive User Experience Award and making its U.S. debut at the 2021 SXSW Festival, this innovative live theater production brings a team of Broadway, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley creatives to your screen in VRChat. Join our Zoom conversation with the Re-Connect Online Performance Festival as we discuss the making of this project and the future possibilities for immersive VR theater.
About the Panelists
Kiira is an award-winning, multi-dimensional director crossing the mediums of theatre, hybrid cinema and virtual reality. VR credits include: Cardboard City which won the Samsung Gear VR contest (2016) and premiered at the NYFF in 2016. For her interactive VR experience Runnin’ starring Reggie Watts, she was the first VR director to film on the Intel Studios volumetric capture stage (Sundance 2019, Jury Award for Interactive at SXSW 2019). Loveseat, (VR Theatre - Venice Film Festival 2019) was performed simultaneously before live and virtual audiences. Her latest VR Theatre production Finding Pandora X featured Broadway actors and won Best VR Immersive User Experience at the Venice Film Festival 2020. She is the founder of Double Eye Studios which specializes in VR Theatre, live events and virtual production.
Alyssa Landry is a narrative director, writer and immersive experience designer. Credits include: Double Eye Studios - Finding Pandora X (VR Theater – Winner Best VR Immersive User Experience, Venice Film Festival 2020), Loveseat (VR Theater - Venice Film Festival 2019), Cardboard City (XR Documentary, NYFF 2016) and Metropoles (multiplayer VR); Incarna –The Trial (multiplayer LBEVR), R-AI-D (VR); Disneyland Paris: The Jedi Training Academy, Frozen Sing-Along, The Forest of Enchantment, among others; Original musical theater: Baba Yaga, Élémentaire, mon cher!, Énooormes, Bons Baisers de Broadway, Jusqu’aux Dents and #Hashtags!.
Jonathan David Martin
Jonathan is a director, actor, producer, and teaching artist focused on the creation and presentation of contemporary works of performance. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative, a theater and new media company that creates original works for theater, VR/XR, and the web that combine socially relevant themes with an ambitious, multi-disciplinary approach to storytelling. With Smoke & Mirrors he has directed the documentary web-series, "Tangible Hope Project" (Best Documentary Series-BNMWFest), and the original plays, Point of Departure and The Alien Nation. He produced and performed in the international tour and Off-Broadway hit Olityelwe (Ndebele Funeral), #HashtagProject, and created Head in the Sand. He has taught at numerous universities and programs across the US and internationally. Currently, Jonathan is teaching Augmented Reality Design for performance at the University of Maryland's Immersive Media Design program.
Joanna Popper is a Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive. She leads HP’s initiatives for Go-To-Market and Location Based Entertainment for Virtual Reality. Prior she was EVP of Media & Marketing at Singularity University and VP Marketing at NBCUniversal. Recently Joanna was executive producer on Double Eye Studios’ “Finding Pandora X,” winner of Best VR Experience at the Venice Film Festival. Finding Pandora X is a modern day take on Greek mythology as a live theatre interactive experience in VRChat. Joanna developed a TV show partnership with NBC and Singularity University for a new TV series on technology and innovation. Joanna was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” “Top Women in Media: Game Changers,” “Top Women in Media: Industry Leaders,” “Digital It List,” “101 Women Leading the VR Industry” and is on the Coalition for the Women in XR Fund.
Mark is the Lead Developer and Technical Producer on Double Eye Studios' "Finding Pandora X." He has a background in XR production, having created award winning pieces in 6DoF VR, 360 video and AR, as well as consulting on other XR productions.
Eve Weston believes in storytelling as a force for positive change. She is writer/director of the first immersive 360/VR sitcom (JoinTheBizNest.Com), featuring Emmy-nominated talent. Her VR art has shown at galleries in LA and NYC and as a prelude to LA Phil’s Yoko Ono Tribute Concert. She’s professor of VR filmmaking at Emerson College LA. Her speaking engagements as a VR storytelling expert include the Augmented World Expo, Samsung’s Harman University, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences of Emmy’s fame. Weston is also an award-winning journalist, having written about VR for Ms. Magazine and The New York Post. A produced television writer, she has written and developed for various ABC/Disney channels and shows, including Wizards of Waverly Place – writing and choreographed the song “Funky Hat Dance,” a YouTube sensation with over a million views. Weston is a Goldman Sachs alumna and earned her MFA in screenwriting from USC and her BA in classics cum laude from Princeton.