Lisa Shattuck and Jeff Becker
Current project: A Wonder Wander
Go on a date with someone from the future, take a stroll with your great great grandparent, or meet a vibrant version of yourself in a parallel universe in a Wonder Wander play. This innovative theater walk-and-talk questions embedded inequities in our societal systems while engaging you in a unique live experience in a location of your choice.
A Wonder Wander play is a live experience between one audience member and one virtual character played by an actor remotely as they take a walk “together” in their own distinct neighborhoods. Haptic technology, which creates the experience of touch is a key factor. Supported by story, live sound and human interaction the haptic feedback is delivered through a smartphone the audience member holds as they walk. This makes Wonder Wander a pioneer in this new accessible theatrical form.
WHAT: A short immersive play for one audience member with a virtual character. Rather than a play in a theater in a traditional sense, this play takes place as the audience member takes an actual physical walk outside “with” the virtual character. Traversing the disciplines of theater and haptic technology, this captivating encounter is experienced through live interactive sound and virtual touch. The virtual character who is a great great great grandparent, a date from the future, or a version of the audience member themselves in a parallel universe is not seen but manifests through speaking and listening to the audience member live and “holding hands” through haptic vibrations through the audience member’s smartphone.
WHY: To connect when it is impossible or unmanageable to meet in person. To offer an artistic experience that could spark a new perspective or passion. To share an affordable enchanted theatrical experience in a structure that is accessible.
WHY NOW: To be invigorated by an innovative art form and connect during times of physical isolation such as a global pandemic or general apocalyptic malaise.
WHERE: The play takes place outside in a neighborhood chosen by the audience member who offers a point of interest to walk to within a 15 minute radius. Without being physically seen, an actor is performing remotely, interacting with the audience member and managing the haptics in real time.
WHO: People who have a smartphone and are able to travel on an accessible walking path.
HOW: Using wireless internet and the incredible developments in haptic technology/kinaesthetic communication, the audience member feels the haptic vibrations of the motions of holding hands, gentle heartbeats, a poke or a nudge from the virtual character through holding their smartphone, hears them speak through wireless headphones and responds through their microphone. The actor responds to the audience member’s voice and their location through GPS. Each script is written with improvisational space to accommodate the audience’s responses engaging the audience member whether they are talkative or reserved. A pre-show survey, research, and discreetly placed objects along the walk by the actor customizes the experience.