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DIS 2021

Expanding the Design Space for Technology-Mediated Theatre Experiences

Molly Jane Nicholas, Stephanie Claudino Daffara, Eric Paulos



Work combining live performance and technology often involves incorporating technology directly into the performance as it occurs onstage, including interactive costumes, or performer-controlled sets, lighting or sound. We invert this common approach, developing technology-mediated experiences outside the temporal and spatial confines of a live theatre production. We describe the 4-month co-design process with expert theatre practitioners, and detail how the process 1) shaped our design guidelines and 2) expands the discussion around existing best practices for cross-disciplinary collaboration. In the style of research through design, we present three annotated prototypes: the Augmented Playbill, the Prayer Wheel, and Tarot Cards as well as accompanying AR applications to convey the decisions we made and the philosophy we iteratively developed throughout the project. These artifacts also embody our six design guidelines: resonant affordances, extended narrative, reflective interaction, selective reveal, personalized experience, and privileged access.



HEL Authors:


Eric Paulos


Molly Nicholas

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