News: Magic Leap Takes on Musical Theater with Augmented Reality Experience Starring Vanessa Williams

Magic Leap Takes on Musical Theater with Augmented Reality Experience Starring Vanessa Williams

Musical theater enthusiasts are about to enter a whole new world of melodic storytelling via augmented reality.

Immersive production company Wilkins Avenue, along with its Pollen Music Group, is debuting the first-ever AR musical through the spatial computing lenses of the Magic Leap One at Comic-Con Paris this weekend.

Featuring the dulcet tones of singer Vanessa Williams, "Out There" tells the story of Liv, a young girl who has lived her life in her bedroom. She's not agoraphobic, instead, she yearns to explore the world outside of those four walls. When her room's decor starts to come alive, she commits to escaping her confines.

Image by Wilkins Avenue/YouTube

And that's where Magic Leap enters the scene. Wilkins Avenue uses the spatial computing capabilities of the Magic Leap to bring the animated world of "Out There" into the audience's physical environment.

In addition, audience movements trigger the reactions of the characters and props in the story, making every showing of "Out There" a unique experience and giving it the live feeling of the theater.

Image by Wilkins Avenue/YouTube

While "Out There" is not to be confused with the song from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the producers evoke Disney when speaking about the story, with Thibault Mathieu, the musical's creator (and CEO of Wilkins Avenue) calling it "a uniquely delightful entertaining experience, halfway between an escape room and a Pixar musical" in a blog post.

The Disney references are not mere coincidence, as the entertainment juggernaut has been vocal in its preference for AR. That's why it wasn't a surprise that a Disney property (Star Wars) was among the earlier app options for the Magic Leap One.

Image by Wilkins Avenue/YouTube

In addition to the Lucasfilm subsidiary of Disney, Magic Leap has recruited a stable of studios and storytellers to reinvent their respective arts with augmented reality, including Funomena, Madefire, Andy Serkis' The Imaginarium Studios, Square Slice, and Framestore, among others.

And big-brands are on already on board to leverage the Magic Leap One (and its eventual successor) as an entertainment device, including AT&T's TV streaming service, HBO's Game of Thrones, and the NBA.

Yes, all the world's a stage. Clearly, that now includes the augmented reality world as well.

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Cover image via Wilkins Avenue/YouTube

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