Strata Inc. follows a hacker going corporate, exploring the collision between our best intentions and the enticing compromises we make for success.
As a teen, Victoria was an infamous hacker. Now a young adult, she has created a powerful virtual reality platform and has agreed to work for a giant tech corporation in order to bring that platform to a huge audience. As users collide with the new Internet reality of VR experiences, exploring online privacy, connection, security, and access, Victoria must choose: run the multinational responsible, or escape from her own invention.
Strata Inc. is based on real developments in virtual reality technology as it intersects with marketing, the world of work, and new outlets for the imagination.
Strata Inc. uses individual audience headphones, sound design, and mic’d actors to echo the transportational abilities of VR while creating an in-person communal experience of theatre. Strata Inc.’s sound design plays with the history of technological sounds, and uses glitch hop music to carry the audience through the play. Also heard exclusively through the headphones is the voice of Strata’s AI Assistant, who guides us through the play and interferes with the lives of the characters.
This production casts actors in lead roles and invites interested audience members to read smaller roles. From acting to immersive seating placement to more distanced seating, this production offers multiple levels of audience engagement from which audience members can choose.
I acknowledge with gratitude that the premiere of Strata Inc. was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Development of Strata Inc. made possible through the Corel Endowment for the Arts Award, City of Ottawa Arts Funding, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ottawa Fringe undercurrents festival, and the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Research supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant.