Woolly Mammoth to Host Launch of Cyber Narrative Project

by Jacob Coakley
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Though hosted by Woolly Mammoth, the Cyber Narrative Project is a partnership between the Black Women Playwrights’ Group and the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center-Global
Though hosted by Woolly Mammoth, the Cyber Narrative Project is a partnership between the Black Women Playwrights’ Group and the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center-Global

Woolly Mammoth is hosting the launch of a one-of-a-kind collaboration. The Cyber Narrative Project is a partnership between the Black Women Playwrights’ Group and the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center-Global that will partner playwrights of color with tech students to create “cyber-narrative tools” to enchance live productions of plays. The first two projects to be showcased at the launch include a video game based around Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and an interactive website based on By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage. The reception takes place Feb. 22.

WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE COMPANY TO HOST LAUNCH OF BLACK WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS’ GROUP CYBER NARRATIVE PROJECT ON FEBRUARY 22ND

AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHTS AND CARNEGIE MELLON ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY CENTER-GLOBAL STUDENTS SHOWCASE THE RESULTS OF THEIR PARTNERSHIP—CREATING DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT TOOLS TO ENHANCE LIVE THEATRE PERFORMANCES

(Washington, DC) – Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is honored to host the launch of the Cyber Narrative Project—an innovative collaboration between Black Women Playwrights’ Group (BWPG) and the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center-Global (ETC-Global). This project will partner playwrights of color with technology students to create cyber-narrative tools to enhance live productions of their plays. The launch of this program will include a demonstration of two of these tools in development, including an interactive website and an online video game.

Helmed by BWPG President and Founder Karen Evans with ETC-Global professor Chris Klug (co-creator of DragonQuest), this project aims to use technology in a more integrated and meaningful way with live performances. The primary goal is to entice the Millennial Generation—adept at role-play, improvisation, and interactivity online—to engage with characters and narratives in live performance.

In addition to the demonstration of the cyber-narrative tools, the launch on February 22nd will include readings from By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz, the two plays that inspired the digital tools; and a panel of experts to discuss issues of intellectual property, viral marketing, and resource building for future collaborations between artists and technologists. Speakers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, New York Times Playwright of the Year Kristoffer Diaz, Executive Producer of the Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global Don Marinelli, ETC-Global professor Chris Klug, and representatives from Google and AOL.

Theatres participating in the BWPG/Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global Cyber Narrative Project include: About Face Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Hip Hop Theater Festival, Intersection for the Arts, Penumbra Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre The project is funded by Bloomberg BNA, The Dreyfus Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Bill and Louisa Newlin, and Nick Olcott.

The event will be livestreamed on #NewPlay TV (http://www.livestream.com/newplay), and will be live tweeted from Woolly’s Twitter account (@woollymammothtc). Follow the hashtag #CyberNarr.

Schedule for BWPG/Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global Cyber Narrative Project launch:
1pm: Welcome remarks from Karen Evans (BWPG) and Miriam Weisfeld (Woolly Mammoth).
1:15pm: Summary of the project by Don Marinelli (Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global).
1:30pm: Kristoffer Diaz introduces The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and reading of excerpt.
2pm: Chris Klug (Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global) introduces the students building The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity cyber narrative project: an online video game. The students will demonstrate it and there will be a Q&A session.
2:45pm: Coffee break.
3:15pm: Lynn Nottage introduces By the Way, Meet Vera Stark and reading of excerpt.
3:45pm: Chris Klug (Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global) introduces students building the By the Way, Meet Vera Stark cyber narrative project: an interactive website. The students will demonstrate it and there will be a Q&A session.
4:30pm: Panel discussion with experts from the DC technology community to discuss replicating these models in the future.
8pm: Performance of Woolly’s current production, Civilization (all you can eat) by Jason Grote (ticket discounts available to participants of the cyber-narrative launch).

For more info about the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, please visit www.woollymammoth.net