This site will soon be dedicated to the record of this insightful and provocative conversation and to ongoing developments and collaborations. STAY TUNED!

Virtual Scenography in Live Performance

New Frontiers International Symposium

March 2-4, 2006

Ruth N. Halls Theatre

Indiana University

Bloomington, Indiana



“Those who work in the future… enter upon the adventure of discovering the secret network of relationships between humanity and the world around it.” - Joseph Svoboda, The Secret of Theatrical Space

(image from GRAFFITI courtesy of Laterna Magika)

This symposium brings together a unique gathering of international artists and experts from many disciplines for the purpose of discovering and defining aesthetic and research goals to advance the seamless integration of virtual scenography in live performance.

The inspiration for the symposium stems from many influences, the most compelling from the work of Joseph Svoboda (1920-2002), Scenographer, and his lifetime of vanguard explorations with Laterna Magica. Of particular inspiration is his observation after decades of creating performances which integrated actors and media projection. “..there are many sequences where the filmed image and the stage action simply stood next to each other without dramatic contact..”. Today, in the context of truely amazing developments in cyberinfrastructure and digital expression, the golden grail is the seamless aesthetic and physical merger of real performers and virtual environments in the immediacy of a live theatre setting. Svoboda's declaration from 13 years ago sets the symposium's stage for the exchange of ideas, collaborations, discoveries and synergy as we engage the future. “Laterna Magika is over 30 years old and has remained the sole example of its type. We have discovered, but we also know that we are at the very beginning.”

Exploring unexpected commonalities, each day assembles a unique selection of disciplines and expertise, primed to engage in new multidisciplinary collaborations. Following each presentation, a panel of theatre specialists will interview the expert. To fuel the synergy, each day ends with a roundtable discussion between all available speakers, before opening up the discussion to include audience comments. The evenings remain unstructured to allow informal gatherings to continue the conversations and to build new relationships.


The symposium presents an extraordinary slate of speakers from around the world. The common thread is not their discipline nor a particular medium, but rather their acclaimed inginuity and expertise in some critical aspect of "virtual" presentation. Some presenters are able to stay and participate for the whole symposium, so important in building and sustaining the creative "critical mass" and in refining new research and collaborations.

All presentations will be in English. Dress for all symposium events is casual.

Confirmed presenters: Petr Tosovsky Director-Producer,Laterna Magika , Prague; Mark Coniglio Composer/Media Artist Troika Ranch, NYC; Paul Debevec, Executive Producer ,Computer Graphics, USC; Danny Popkin, Technical Manager BBC Virtual Studios England; Kimmo Karjunen, Projection Designer/Scenographer, Finland; Mark Reaney, Director ie:VR; Markku Uimonen, Scenographer and critic, Finland; Greg Ward, anyhere software (High dynamic Range Images); [T. Balasaravanan*, Laterna Magica Lighting Designer, India;] Rob Shakespeare, Lighting Designer , Indiana University; Joe Geigel,Virtual Theatre , Rochester Institute of Technology; Jason Czaja, Audio/Video Engineer, Actors Theatre Louisville.

Seminar presenter: Eric Wernert, Senior Scientist and Manager, Advanced Visualization Laboratory , Indiana University.

* send regrets


The symposium is scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm March 2, 2006 in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre and will conclude by 4:00 pm March 4. Follow this link for Daily Schedule (Subject to change).



The Department of Theatre and Drama is hosting the symposium held in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre, located in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center in the arts corridor of Indiana University, Bloomington. This beautiful campus has approximately 37,000 students and is located south of Indianapolic within an hour's drive.

Getting to Indiana University, Bloomington

Getting about Bloomington


A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the Indiana University Memorial Union Hotel in the center of campus just a five minute walk to the theatre.

The rooms on hold for this symposium and for symposium registrants must be booked by you before February 2, 2006, afterwhich they will be released to the general public. When booking, please indicate that you are attending the virtual scenography symposium. These rooms are available on a first come first serve basis. A list of other Bloomington Accomodations is available upon request.


Rob Shakespeare, Symposium Chair, Indiana University

Markku Uimonen , Symposium Panelist, Theatre Academy of Finland

Mark Reaney, Symposium Panelist, University of Kansas.