Written and directed by Sean Stewart
Each Roundabout performance was unique, with a different outcome. The live audience were active co-creators on the Twitch channel, determining the course of action. Even over six performances, not all possibilities were exhausted. We encourage you to have a look at several performances to get a fuller understanding of how the project played out.
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6 characters. 3 bodies. 1 meddlesome audience. So many things could go wrong.
An interactive farce for the digital age.
Science fiction meets comedy as three young school leavers in an awkward love triangle meet on the video platform Twitch. In the chat channel are three skylarking digital humans who yearn to be made flesh for the first time in 13,000 years. With the help of the audience they possess the actors.
The characters play musical chairs, hopping from body to body while interacting with the audience in real time. Will the audience keep up with the speed of change? Will the actors be consumed by the personalities of the digital characters?
Roundabout was live streamed on Twitch. It’s a collaborative piece of storytelling and a brand-new way of doing theatre, a trapeze act that courts chaos.
Roundabout was written and directed by Primetime Emmy Award-winning storyteller and science fiction writer Sean Stewart.
In the weeks leading to the opening of the show, Director Sean Stewart and the Roundabout team have launched a special ‘Guest Series’ and met with amazing artists around the world for live talks on Twitch. The artists include Chris Weitz, Steve Boyle, Robin McNicholas, Pippa Hill, Stephen Brimson-Lewis, Jason Brown, Ryam Stayton, Lou Doye, Jordan Weisman, Sarah Ellis and Andy Lanning.
Chris Weitz is an American producer, writer, director and actor. He is best known for his work with his brother, Paul Weitz, on the comedy films American Pie and About a Boy, as well as writing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the film adaptation of New Moon from the series of Twilight books.
Steve M. Boyle is the CEO of Epic Immersive, a large-scale immersive theatre company based in San Francisco. Epic has created immersive experiences at 14-acre real-world fictional cities with 100+ actors, crafted experiential journeys in China and Paris, built neighborhood-scale cultural and civic festivals, and designed experiences for Silicon Valley companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. A former actor, Steve's passion lies in using millenia of performance as inspiration for exploring the future of theatre -- one in which all the world's a stage.
Robin McNicholas of Marshmallow Laser Feast - (MLF) is a creative studio exploring the line between virtual and real-world experiences. MLF's interests are rooted in creating people-centred, live interactive work. They have flawlessly conceived, designed and delivered highly aesthetic and evocative showstoppers in collaboration with many brands, musicians, advertising agencies, event organisers and art institutions. Their 2019 piece We Live In An Ocean of Air was recognized as the outstanding XR work of 2019 by Forbes magazine.
Pippa Hill, Head of Literary and Senior Dramaturg, Royal Shakespeare Company, oversees the commissioning and development of all of the Company’s new plays, adaptations and translations. She also works closely with the creative teams preparing the texts for the classical repertoire.
Stephen Brimson Lewis, Director of Design, Royal Shakespeare Company, oversees design across the RSC’s entire repertoire, which can include up to thirty productions a year. tephen is an Olivier Award winner . He has also been nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Circle, Critics’ Circle, Evening Standard, Theatrical Management Association and Whatsonstage Awards. He has worked extensively in the West End and on Broadway as both set and costume designer, including for the productions of ‘No Man’s Land’ and ‘Waiting for Godot ‘starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, and Trevor Nunn's production of ‘Love in Idleness’ which transferred to the West End in 2017. His work elsewhere includes productions with the National Theatre, the Royal Opera House , Welsh National Opera and Sydney Opera House.
Jason Brown & Ryan Stayton, Hivemind Entertainment, specialize in finding stories they love and moving heaven and earth to bring them to the screen, including the near future sci-fi epic The Expanse and 2020’s worldwide phenomenon, The Witcher.
Lou Doye is an executive producer and artistic director who started her career as a professional dancer (CATS in the West End, even!) Lou now runs her own company working with multi-disciplinary teams to explore new imaginative territories with artists and creative technologists. This spring she led a laboratory at CannesXR Film Festival, bringing the best creative minds and technologists to devise innovative entertainment ideas that respond to the world post Covid-19.
Jordan Weisman - Sean Stewart writes: “Game Design Hall of Famer Jordan Weisman is the creator of FASA, Shadowrun, MechWarrior, MageKnight, and countless other games, as well as the inventor of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs). He is also my personal Gandalf, having knocked on my door and invited me on a dragon-infested adventure that continues to this day. His motto is, “My dad’s got a barn - let’s put on a show!”
Sarah Ellis, Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company, is not only an innovative producer with multiple awards for projects such as 2012's Midsummer Night’s Dreaming, she is responsible for developing creative collaborations between the RSC and partners such as Intel, Epic, Punchdrunk, Verizon, The Imaginarium Studios and Google.
Andy Lanning is a comic book writer and inker best known as the co-creator of Guardians of the Galaxy and the Secret Service series - known to movie fans as The Kingsmen. He also created or steered many projects with pioneering Mixed Reality start-up Magic Leap.
Content warning – M15+ (adult themes, flashing lights)