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VIDEO: Royal Shakespeare Company's THE TEMPEST Projects Avatar Ariel On Stage

On Broadway, audiences have grown accustomed to performances where orchestra members, instead of being seen live, are playing offstage while technology brings their music into the theatre.

But with their upcoming production of William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, the Royal Shakespeare Company will go so far as to have an actor working offstage while technology brings his performance before the audience.

Actor Mark Quartley plays Ariel, the enslaved sprite who performs his magical feats for the sorcerer Prospero, played by Simon Russell Beale.

But Quartley will be spending performances dressed in a motion-capture suit, allowing for a projection of his movements to be seen by the audience as an avatar of Ariel.

The production, in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios, has been in development since September 2015, and aims to break new boundaries as the first live motion capture performance appearing in a major classical stage production.

Directed by the company's artistic director, Gregory Doran, THE TEMPEST will play November 8th through January 21st. The January 11th performance will be screened live to cinemas as part of the ongoing Live from Stratford-upon-Avon series.

The video below shows the first rehearsal where Quartley, Beale and technology combined to begin the process of developing a relationship between the two characters.

The RSC's family show for 2016, THE TEMPEST will be the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young theatregoers and families.

On a distant island a man waits. Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him. Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.

In a unique partnership with Intel, The Royal Shakespeare Company will be using today's most advanced technology in a bold reimagining of Shakespeare's magical play, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in a production directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran. Visit

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From This Author Michael Dale