World first for Arts Council funded, The Playhouse, in Derry-Londonderry
World first for Arts Council funded, The Playhouse, in Derry-Londonderry, as they launch unique digital arts project Playcraft - a live play performed inside a video game.
This October, when the curtain rises on the new production at the Playhouse Theatre in Derry/Londonderry, those seated at the theatre will be sharing the experience with a global audience, immersed in the enormously successful video-game Minecraft.
The new play, Playcraft Live, will be performed by both human actors on stage at the Playhouse and their corresponding digital avatars in the world of Minecraft. Playcraft Live will premiere on Saturday 14 October, both on stage at the Playhouse and broadcast to the world online at www.playcraft.live
Playcraft Live is a collaboration between The Playhouse Theatre, world-renowned creative producer, Adam Clarke, digital educators, MakeMatic, and a diverse team of Minecraft personalities and artists. It is commissioned by The Space, which is funded by the BBC and Arts Council England.
Minecraft is the second-best-selling videogame of all time (behind Tetris). Designed by Swede Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, it enables players to build constructions out of textured cubes and take part
in exploration, engineering, crafting and combat. As of February 2017, Minecraft had sold 121 million copies.
Playcraft Live intends to bring together some of the finest creative talents from theatre and gaming. Leading Minecraft artists and digital producers, Adam Clarke (aka The Wizard) and MakeMatic, will work with set and costume designers at the Playhouse, to create virtual theatre sets within Minecraft. The production will see the dramatisation of a script, written specifically for Playcraft by Alex Scarrow, the internationally successful author and creator of the popular Time Riders teen novels. The story sits between books one and two of the Time Riders series.
The play will be split between live performances by actors on stage and puppeteers controlling the actors within Minecraft. Slipping between both stage and game world, the story will unfold across different locations and time from within the story. Audiences within the theatre, and online, will experience the production as a single live-stream, and neither audience needs to own Minecraft in order to view the stream. Select YouTubers will also be able to watch the production from within Minecraft, live during the performance, and to stream this live on their channels. Playcraft Live will also be available to view on YouTube after 14 October. All performances, viewings and events are free of charge.
Free public events - summer 2017
This summer, Minecraft fans are invited to be involved in the production, find out more about the play and contribute to the process along the way. Online Challenges, featured on the Playcraft Live website, invite participants to learn about aspects of theatre production and Minecraft, from set design to acting, costume creation to scriptwriting, as they join guest YouTubers, including AmyLee33, SeaPeeKay, NettyPlays and Bigbst4tz plus writer Alex Scarrow, West End costume designer, Katrina Lindsay, and actor Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones/Kubo and the Two Strings).
Playcraft Live was launched on 20 July at the Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry and on 22 July at Minecraft fan convention, Minevention, where children will have the chance to get involved in workshops and activities with guest YouTubers, Netty Plays and friends.
Details of how to become involved in each of these events and contribute directly to the production can be found at www.playcraft.live
Kieran Griffiths, Creative Director at the Playhouse Theatre, said, “We are excited to be introducing something completely new to the world of theatre. The production is hugely ambitious and a definite step into the unknown, but a tremendous opportunity to allow two artistic worlds to come together and learn from each other. Theatre involves removing the audience from their everyday lives and into a new situation; this will certainly be the case with Playcraft Live but the step will be even further than normal. We are looking forward to involving new audiences in our work as the production comes together over the summer and hope that the performance will reach a large audience across two worlds.”
Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director of The Space, said, “The Space is delighted to support Playcraft, as a project that highlights the opportunity provided by such a hugely successful worldwide online platform like Minecraft to engage younger audiences with the creative challenge and excitement of producing live theatre.”