The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


Virtual reality (VR) is a medium predicated on immersivity. It therefore has implications for a similarly immersive field – live theater. The benefits of live theater are numerous. However, not everyone has the same access to theater for a variety of reasons, including cost and mental and physical health. Could VR serve as a legitimate alternative to live theater? Investigating this question, we utilized the resources of the Yale’s CCAM to create a virtual reality adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Research shows that our brains process VR differently from either real-world stimulus or two-dimensional monitors. VR is an entirely new entity of its own. All aspects of the design and rehearsal process required adaptation for the new medium. The process of production has made clear that, while virtual reality cannot replicate all benefits of theater, it is its own unique form with vast potential.