Project Neverland is an exploration project focusing on the use of augmented reality in live performance. In collaboration with the CMU School of Drama, the team is adapting an existing story to the stage featuring a fully-realized animated character that performs alongside a human actor.
We chose to stage part of the famous opening scene of Peter Pan because it features the character Tinker Bell, a magical fairy who, alongside Peter Pan, visits the Darling family in Edwardian London before flying off to Neverland. In most stage productions, Tinker Bell is portrayed by a small pinpoint spotlight that shakes around as she “speaks,” and flutters along the stage on a two-dimensional axis. The advent of AR gave us the opportunity to make this character more believable than ever before. For the first time in a stage performance of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell is fully three dimensional (with an actual body and face!) and can fly around the nursery, zooming behind as well as in and out of various objects. She expresses herself clearly with body language and requires significantly less suspension of disbelief to accept her as a living, breathing character.
The end result is a short performance piece as proof of concept for AR’s expanding applications in the entertainment industry.