The Orchard was a joint effort between the Arlekin Players and Zero Gravity Virtual Theatre Laboratory, and featured both an in-person, and virtual version of the play. The virtual performance used the same actors performing in the same play but experienced by the audience very differently – you could interact, chat, see effects, and experience different camera angles.
The result was a dynamic and immersive experience that showcased the capabilities and potential of NDI technology. NDI, or Network Device Interface, is a technology that allows video, audio and power signals to be transmitted over a local area network (LAN) using simple Ethernet cable. This makes it ideal for use in live events and performances, where mobility and flexibility are essential.
“We are at Arts Emerson the Paramount in the Orchard Theatre doing a hybrid production theatrical production of the orchard which is based on the Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhovand it’s hybrid because there is an in-person version of the play and also there is a virtual version of the play that happens simultaneously,”
said Igor Golyak, Artistic Director, Arlekin Players Theatre & (zero-G) Virtual Theatre Lab.
Kyra Bowie, the Production Stage Manager for The Orchard, describes the production,
“We have a full set with a robot arm, quadruped (4 legged) robot, interactive cameras and PTZs – and have a full, dynamic virtual and in-person experience happening!“
“We are using about 12 cameras with a total of eight BirdDog cameras. They’re all connected through an NDI Network using a Netgear M4250 switch that also powers them over PoE.”
“The switch receives all the signals and is connected to the control computer, compositing computer, sound, light control board, and teleprompters, making everything easily accessible from anywhere with just a single cable.”
“I’m designing the show in Isadora and I have, at any given time, nine or ten different camera streams all coming in over NDI. Being able to just run Ethernet cable and have access to all of those cameras in the design at any given moment is quite impressive – no capture cards, all just through NDI.”
“they’re completely and beautifully remotely controllable.”
“You can easily rig it with a quarter 20 bolt and that’s all you need, it’s pretty amazing” he says.
The hybrid theatrical production was a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation. By harnessing NDI technology with new, cutting edge theatrical techniques, the production team has created a dynamic and immersive experience that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in live theatre.
As Tom Doran enthuses,
“It’s something different! Sometimes theatre gets a little old – a lot of old shows come back but this is not! It’s an old show, but boy, is it different – and a lot of it is because of the cameras you guys have”.
Equipment used for The Orchard:
To learn more about Transcend Streaming please visit transcendstreaming.com
To learn more about Arlekin Players Theatre please visit arlekinplayers.com
To learn more about Zero Gravity Art please visit zerogravity.art