Blur the Lines of Fact and Fiction in ‘The Under Presents: Tempest’—Showing July 9 Through September
Tender Claws first took the immersive media world by storm with the release of Virtual Virtual Reality—a mind-bending, metafictional love letter to VR that you can find on Oculus Quest, the Rift Platform, and Oculus Go. The critically-acclaimed studio followed up that cult classic with The Under Presents, which Forbes described as “a novel exploration of VR and live immersive theatre.” Live actors have taken center stage in The Under Presents from time to time since launch, and May 2020 saw special Variety Hour live performances every Friday and Saturday. Today, we’ve got some exciting news to share: The Under Presents introduction is now free on Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform, including over 30 minutes of single-player gameplay to explore. And beginning July 9 and running through the end of September, you can catch a limited-time performance of Tempest—an interactive reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic tale of magic, betrayal, and revenge. Tickets are on sale now as in-app purchases priced at $14.99 USD, which includes the 40-minute show plus access to the game’s multiplayer space.
Audience members will form intimate groups of six to eight participants per actor, with no two performances exactly the same.
How did you first get involved with Tender Claws?
Brandon Bales: I have done some immersive theatre work in Los Angeles with Delusion and The Speakeasy Society, and notable immersive wonk Noah Nelson (of No Proscenium) was tipped off about Tender Claws’ The Under Presents.
What has the experience acting for The Under Presents been like?
BB: The Under Presents has definitely been one of the weirdest and most interesting acting jobs I’ve ever had. The way in which the community sprung up around the multiplayer functionality was astounding and inspiring. Being an actor amidst that has been an incredibly interesting experience.
Tell us about your process. How do you get the audience involved in the performance?
We are doing pieces with this work that does not exist without a live audience, so that’s where we start. I may have ideas of a scene in The Under Presents for example, but they only truly take shape when the audience is there and reacting to the story. So much of what we do is shaped by the audience, so with open hearts we go in with big plans that inevitably change shape in the transmission.
What kind of response have you seen while demoing the experience?
BB: It’s exciting, it’s transcendent, and it’s inevitable. Tender Claws has just begun the task of scratching this incredible surface. Spoiler: it’s “very.” There have been a very few projects like these, and the way in which the community has sprung up around a project like The Under Presents drives the point home for me, that we are only seeing the beginning.
Jul 06, 2020 at 20:45