Live mix cinema artist Toni Dove will bring “Lucid Possession,” an interactive theatre performance combining storytelling, robotics, film projection, and music to the Virginia Tech campus for three public performances on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. and March 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Theatre 101.

The event, which is a special preview performance before the official premiere in Brooklyn, N.Y., in April, is presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in partnership with Virginia Tech’s Department of Theatre and Cinema and the School of Performing Arts and Cinema.

A live cinema performance mixed and animated in real-time, “Lucid Possession” uses motion-sensing technologies to perform complex layers of media and seeks to extend the boundaries of theatrical performance. Alongside the real-time manipulations of Dove, onstage musicians control robotic screens, lights, sound, and video that merge to present a contemporary ghost story that examines how identity is formed across virtual and real social spaces.

“Lucid Possession” looks at fame and its consequences in an online environment, exploring how information travels and gradually creates new social communities, and how the mass of information is managed. Characters projected on a 13-foot cinema screen converse and sing with their video doppelgangers on 3-D robotic scrims. Fragmented projections appear eerily 3-D, brought to life by performers animating them as if they were virtual puppets. 

Dove and members of her performance team will also participate in an ArtsFusion talk, where they will discuss the creative process that drives “Lucid Possession.” The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held on March 18 at 5 p.m. in Theatre 101 and is presented by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology in partnership with the Center for the Arts.

Dove lives and works in New York. Since the early 1990s, she has produced unique and highly imaginative hybrids of film, installation art, and experimental theater. Her often-interactive performances use the latest in modern technology — lasers, motion sensors, film projection, and robotics — to explore the effects of rapidly changing technology on individuals and society. In her work, performers and participants interact with an unfolding narrative, using interface technologies, such as motion sensing and laser harp, to “perform” on-screen avatars. Dove has received numerous grants and awards, including support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Langlois Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts.


Tickets for the performances in Theatre 101 are $20 for general public, $16 for seniors and Virginia Tech faculty and staff, and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Squires Student Center and Activities Ticket Office, Monday through Friday, 12 to 5 p.m.; or by calling 540-231-5615.



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