Virtual Reality comes to Studio Space Theatre Company

StGiles Studio Space Theatre Company has taken steps to move activities into Virtual Reality with the purchase of three Oculus Quest 2 VR devices. Supported by a grant through the RACT Insurance COVID-19 Community Support Fund, the devices will allow participants to interact with each other through a variety of apps during times where physical distancing requirements won’t allow for in-person theatre and dance lessons.

Studio Space Artistic Director Gerard Lane was on hand with four of the artists from Project Vulcan at the unveiling of the new equipment.

“Thanks to the grant from RACT for the Virtual Reality technology, Studio Space, can now explore VR as an accessible tool for artists with a disability to come together and rehearse in the same “room”.”  Mr Lane said.

“Studio Space continued to run arts programs for participants in 2020 online, as restrictions on indoor gatherings meant classes could no longer be delivered face to face.”

A new reality: Studio Space artist George Van Dijk, seated, with artistic director Gerard Lane, and fellow artists Julian Pavy, Nicole Pirlot and Sarah Squires as the Oculus VR equipment is rolled out.

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers said their organisation recognised the importance of communities and organisations remaining connected during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Keeping our communities strong and connected is vital and we are very aware of the important roles organisations such as StGiles play in keeping Tasmanians connected and bringing us back together in what is a very different environment, as we face ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19,” Mr Sayers said.

“It’s a humbling experience to be able to provide financial support so that groups, such as StGiles Studio Space Theatre Company, can continue to provide high quality training in various arts disciplines through virtual reality technology.”

StGiles was one of 91 organisations to receive a community grant through the RACT Insurance COVID-19 Community Support Fund, which has now provided a total of $200,000 in recovery support grants to organisations across Tasmania.

Studio Space Theatre Company was established by StGiles in 2017 as an avenue for inclusive art programs. The company offers programs in theatre, drama, dance, singing, podcasts, and photography.

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