Kassinn / A Box In The Desert
Virtual Reality Theatre installation
Performer & Producer
Imagine one day, you wake up inside an invisible box, unable to escape. Kassinn is an engaging, but playful, interactive theatre performance with a live actor in virtual reality. Will you trust this mysterious stranger? Or listen to the voice in your head, trying to get you out?
Kassinn, (English title “A Box In The Desert”), was a short play I wrote for Uppsprettan in Tjarnarbíó in 2016. In 2017 this play was transformed into a piece of virtual reality theatre.
In it, one audience at a time is ‘trapped’ inside a box, both physically and virtually. In order to escape the box, the audience member needs to get help from an outsider, performed by an actor/actress in a motion capture suit on the outside of the box. The performer is transformed into a virtual character within the virtual world, with all its movements happening in real time.
The audience member and the performer can both hear each other and speak to each other throughout the performance, meaning the play is semi-scripted and semi-improvised.
By making the performance take place in the virtual world, it’s possibly to create anything, and do swift changes from normality to a completely different environment – there are no limits.
The play was developed for a longer run at Reykjavík Fringe in July 2018, with an added character of a voice inside your head, in contrast to the character outside the box. Initially that voiceover was done by me, as I was unable to perform live during the RVK Fringe. In its current version, Ástþór Ágústsson and I take turns in performing in the show. This version was invited to the Stockholm Fringe Festival in September 2018, and subsequently went on to tour around Europe and USA in 2019, selling out wherever it went and winning numerous awards.
This is a Huldufugl production, an events company I run with creative technologist Owen Hindley.
Performers: Nanna Gunnars, Ástþór Ágústsson
VR Design and direction: Owen Hindley
Music: Iris Thorarins
Sound: Ragnar Hrafnkelsson
Concept Development: Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson
Additional 3D design, build: Jacob Andersson
First version had support from PuppIT and sponsorship from Landsbankinn.
WINNER: Best Interactive Narrative Experience, Raindance Film Festival 2019
WINNER: Outstanding USA Premiere, San Diego Fringe Festival 2019
WINNER: Most Amazing Game Award, A Maze Festival, Berlin 2019
WINNER: Innovation in Performance, Stockholm International Fringe Festival 2018
NOMINATED: GRAND PRIX, Stockholm International Fringe Festival 2018
RVK Fringe, Stockholm Fringe, 2018.
A Maze, Brighton Fringe, Jacksons Lane Theatre, private performances in LA, San Diego Fringe, RVK Fringe, Raindance Film Festival, 2019.