Prague invites the audiences back to theatres through virtual reality

Prague City Authority and the creative group Brainz Studios presented a unique service Brejlando in March this year. It provides viewers with experimental theatre experiences in virtual reality (VR). Using state-of-the-art technologies and rented VR headsets, everybody can immerse in watching selected performances from theatres in Prague at home and a very different point of view – right from the stage and proximity of actors. The service is designed to facilitate overcoming a hard time of limited operation for theatres and their fans. The initiators also believe that they have established a new international trend that can become a permanent feature in theatres.

Merging virtual reality and culture is not anything new in Czechia. The Czech Republic has been famous for a few virtual reality projects. One of them is the production of experimental 360° music experiences from Brainz Studios. The uniqueness of Brejlando is in the way how the theatre performance is shot for virtual reality. The viewer sees the stage through the lens of a 360-degree camera. It is the middle of things: actors move around it and play in its direction. Lighting design and recording of spatial sound are also bent to the state. Compared with a classical visit to the theatre, viewers can get a physical experience because actors convey their monologues and sights on them.

Brejlando was launched with the recording of Hamleti at the Theatre on the Balustrade (director Jan Mikulášek) with Petr Čtvrtníček, Jana Plodková, Jiří Vyorálek, Jakub Žáček and other actors, and Hansel and Gretel at the Minor Theatre (directors Jakub Vašíček, Tomáš Jarkovský), with Petr Stach and Monika Načeva. The new productions will be added twice a month. Drábek’s and Král’s Elefantazie of the Prague City Theatres, Pusťte Donu k maturitě directed by Tomáš Dianiška at the Pod Palmovkou Theatre, and a stage adaptation of Jan Procházka’s famous film Ucho directed by Šimon Dominik at the Na Vinohradech Theatre are being prepared. Many theatres in Prague have expressed their interest in the project. The service thus becomes a fully-fledged distribution platform opened for theatres outside Prague as well.

According to Hana Třeštíková, the counselor of the City of Prague, the project of Brainz Studios and Brejlando have the potential to become a long-term part of the theatre menu and allow those who do not manage to come to the theatre to see many popular and sold-out performances.

Tereza Kosáková


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