Assistant Professor of Lighting and Media Design
School of Education | Department of Theatre and Drama
Hometown: Nashua, NH
Megan Reilly is an assistant professor of lighting and media design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her designs have been seen nationally in Texas, Arkansas, San Francisco, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Minneapolis, and Madison, and also internationally in Dublin, Edinburgh, and Portugal. She researches and writes on immersive theatre and immersive technologies, and is currently working on a VR project about performance artist Adrian Howells. In 2022 Megan was a fellow with Odyssey Works, studying experience design methods and creating a one-time, one-audience member performance that stretched over three days. She is also the co-head of the Digital Media Commission within USITT.
Beyond the Garden of Adrian: Recreating intimate work in virtual reality
Adrian Howells was a performance artist in Great Britain in the early-mid aughts. His one-to-one performances (one performer, one audience member) were incredibly intimate and sparked strong memories and emotions in those who participated in them. As more possibilities open up in virtual reality for live performance, my research looks at recreating one of Howells’ pieces in VR, The Garden of Adrian, and setting up an “experiment” to determine how one might elicit the same reactions he once did in his live, face-to-face art.
The Care and Feeding of Audiences
What is it that audiences require when visiting an escape room or attending an immersive or interactive performance? How can artists create works that both challenge and thrill while being mindful of audience safety and experience? In this talk I look at a couple of case studies and discuss how choices were or were not made with audience experience in mind.
Ethical Quandaries in Immersive Theatre
Immersive theatre is a form of performance where the audience wanders freely in a given environment and can interact with actors. It can be intensely intimate, which leads to moments of joy for audiences but also issues with how the performances are made. I look at three problem areas and discuss productions that have succeeded and those that have faltered.