Improvisational Theater Space
Flavia Sparacino, Kirstin Hall, Christopher Wren, Alex Pentland, Glorianna Davenport

The Sixth Biennal Symposium for Arts and Technology, Connecticut College, New London, CT.
February 27 - March 2, 1997.


The Improvisational Theater Space is an interactive stage where human actors can perform accompanied by virtual actors. Virtual actors are modeled as animated "Media Creatures" that are behavior-based automous software agents. It uses real time computer vision, speech recognition and and speech anlaysis to sense the perfomer's actions on stage. We used Artifical Life programming methods and behavior-based design to avoid rigid scripting of user and content interaction. The main result of this work is the construction of animated media creatures endowed with intentionality and autonomous behaviors. Media Creatures allow content to be active and to present itself to the user by dynamically adapting to the context of the interaction. We used Media Creatures to create an engaging Improvisational Theater Space where the user/performer is engaged in an improvisational dialogue with a typographic actor.

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