Play On!

PLAYON! is a successful larger scale cooperation project announced by the European Commission under their European Culture Funding Stream Creative Europe.

The project was initiated by nine theatres with experience in the use of digital technologies and a university with high digital expertise. Six of the theatres have already played an important role in the EU funded project PLATFORM Shift+. The Estonian project leader, VAT Teater from Tallinn, was one of them. Eight universities from the creative digital sector are associated partners in order to facilitate access to technical knowledge.

Digital transformations are influencing major changes in our societies and contemporary theatre must understand the processes of digital change, incorporating changing communication models into its practices.

Dedicated to the theme “Concrete Utopias in the Digital Age”, PLAYON! is designed to understand, learn, test and apply immersive technology (e.g. immersive gaming structures, Augmented and Virtual reality, Binaural Sound, Holography, SLAM /simultaneous location and mapping, Project mapping etc.) in order to shift classical storytelling to interactive narrative formats.

Within 4 years the partners aim

  • to develop new forms of storytelling, building on narrative structures used in the creative game sector
  • to merge these new forms with a variety of immersive technologies
  • to use this new format to extend theatre towards the public urban space (immersive outreach) with relevant stories and the involvement of young adults as co-creators.

In three phases, the theatres will work on one of the objectives in terms of content and technology. The learned gained at each stage will enrich the next phase; at the end, 27 productions will be created in total. After four years the partners aim to have established new links between the artistic, professional training and industrial sectors. The most visible legacy will be the “conceptual tool-kit”, an open source manual for theatres using immersive technology.

Considering the need to adapt the digital shift, the proposed strategy in terms of capacity building is crystal clear and perfectly convincing, through a set of high-level training and research activities involving artists and technicians, with new skills and opportunities at stake.” International Jury Evaluation Report.

The overall project has been awarded the maximum grant of €2,000,000 (which is 48% of the total budget) and will run from 2019 – 2023.

Visit the PlayOn! Website


Partner Organisations


VAT Theatre, Estonia                                                   

Pilot Theatre, UK

Szinhaz Kolibri, Hungary

Teatro O Bando, Portugal        

Theater Dortmund, Germany

VĂ¥rt Teatret, Norway

Teatr Ludowy, Poland

Landestheater Linz, Austria

Elsinor Centro di produzione teatrale, Italy

University of York / Digital Creativity Lab, UK