On 24 October, an innovative doctoral thesis was defended at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre: for the first time in Estonia, a doctoral-level study on the dramaturgy of virtual reality was written. Its author, junior researcher Ana Victoria Falcón Araujo, addressed the question of how writers can create plays that are intended to be staged (partly) in virtual reality. The supervisors were senior researcher Madli Pesti (pictured with Ana Falcón) and dramaturg Marion Jõepera, PhD. The opponent was Ágnes Bakk, Lead Researcher at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest.

Falcon’s interdisciplinary PhD thesis, “Drafting the VR Play: Exploring Extended Reality Theater to Propose a Method for Virtual Reality Playwriting”, brings together early forms of VR playwriting, existing writing conventions, academic literature and artistic experimentation. As a result of the work, the author highlights aspects that writers should take into account when writing a play to be staged in virtual reality. These are the user’s sense of presence in the virtual space (immersion), interactivity, point of view, and the technology used (such as the devices and accessories attached to the user’s head). The doctoral thesis explains and explores the development, concepts and practical uses of virtual reality, a highly topical and constantly evolving field.

Ana Victoria Falcón Araujo and supervisor Madli Pesti