The Jewell Theatre company perform live, full length plays in Second Life, a 3D virtual world. Each production brings a real theatre experience to audiences whilst embracing the opportunities a virtual space provides.
The troupe was founded in 2007 and is led by writer/director Fake Jewell who holds a master’s degree in script writing and has been teaching creative writing courses for over 10 years. Fake originally joined Second Life to explore bringing theatre to a wider audience.
Each play is funded through donations and sponsorship which makes it possible for the performances to be freely available to anyone with a computer, an internet connection, and the (free to download) Second Life browser software. Audience members log in from all over the world.
An international cast and crew come together online for auditions, rehearsals, costume design, set design, poster and programme publication etc. before each play goes live with a run of performances.
Each actor performs live, animating their avatar and posting the dialogue. Sets are built by Technical Director Dorian Cao using 3D modeling tools within Second Life. Due to this platform’s unique open canvas for creative design there are almost no limitations to what can be imagined and realised on stage. Having actors that can teleport, fly, and are indestructible is also very useful.
Our plays are written by Fake Jewell specifically for the theatre. Most of our plays to date are science fiction and fantasy themed. (We look forward to exploring other genres in future as well.) During rehearsals everyone works together to turn the script into a play. Fake directs the cast as they make their roles their own, each actor working on the dialogue, movement, costume design, and nuances of their performance.
The live shows are conducted by Stage Manager Mistique Starbrook from behind the scenes. She cues the actors, changes the sets, sets the pace, and works her magic when the unexpected happens.
The troupe has a home on the beautiful Samandiriel sim in Second Life (recently awarded ‘showcase’ status). Visitors may cross the bridge to reach “The Jewell Theatre” itself, a purpose built theatre that seats 64 avatars (we can always add more seats in seconds!), and to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame style dedication to every person who has worked on a show.
As well as performing at The Jewell Theatre on Samandiriel, the troupe also goes on tour to different locations in Second Life, hosted by different cities and events. When they go on the road they literally take the theatre building along, containing all the sets, audience seating and even the green room. One of the many advantages of a virtual space.
More recently the troupe have been branching out into machinima (film making in virtual environments). We’ve entered the 48 Hour Film Project in the Machinima category several times and have even been honoured with some awards!
On this site you can find the theatre’s upcoming performance, past productions information, and more. Click on the posters below for more information on our upcoming performances!
“In this theatre, I feel something really special is happening. For me, this is a new form of performance.” – Fake Jewell