We are a grateful for your support and coverage of Non-Player Character. If you would like to schedule a private demo or playthrough for your audience or programmers, please contact info [at] jigsawensemble [dot] com. You may also email us to request any additional assets or interview/speaking requests. We are small team and will get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have curated some frequetly requested assets below. Thank you!
- Approxmiate Runtime: 45 Minutes
- Format: Live singing and acting using virtual reality, animated characters via most web-connected devices
When a video game hero dies, the audience must guide a Non-Player Character (performed by a live, singing actor) through several virtual worlds of their grief. The line between reality and virtual reality blurs as audiences influence the journey, either wearing a VR headset or watching on the big screen. Live musical theater meets video games as Creator and Performer, Brendan Andolsek Bradley, invites two-tiers of audience to enter and impact the story arc and help a character without agency navigate their grief through interactivity, immersion and song. An experimental prototype for hybrid location-based events, on-site audiences may choose to experience either as a Participant wearing a VR headset (in groups of four) or as Spectators watching the world(s) and characters projected onto the theater screen. Meanwhile, remote audiences may navigate the virtual world with the participants as “ghosts” without an avatar or microphone.
- Please see Press & Releases
- Approved Stills
- Approved Logo(s)
- Approved Clips (coming soon)
- Request additional materials by emailing info (at) jigsawensemble (dot) com
During the global shutdown, I escaped my own grief by merging my love for live performance and interactive media when I designed and released a playhouse in virtual reality that any performer could use for free. The Museum of Science in Boston commissioned me to create a prototype for a live actor wearing a virtual reality headset in front of a seated audience with the virtual world projected on the IMAX screen behind them.
They certainly did not expect me to present a musical about a sad robot.
Non-Player Character began as a 15-minute loopable experience about a character without agency in a fictitious video game who relies on the audience to process their grief and depression. Maurice Soque Jr. and I met online and began trading voice memos and audio files to asynchronously compose the 5-song cycle. As much of the gameplay relies on loose improvisation and audience response, the music became the spine of our story, allowing the performer to regain focus and control while anchoring the experience in emotionally resonate storytelling, no matter what went wrong.
At the Boston protoype demo in 2021, I took the stage, seamlessly switching betweenavatars, characters and worlds, joined on-stage by select Audience Participants whoalso wore headsets so theiractions could be rendered in-real time, on screen, directly affecting the story and my performance. As I’ve continued to perform in live virtual reality all over the world this year (SXSW,Venice Film Festival, Raindance, etc), I’ve struggled to understand why other projects feel confined to a tech demo or game. Relying on the gimmick of technology misses the ritual and tension of shared space.
In Non-Player Character, the audience uses the technology not to “win,” but to “connect.”
Now, my singular focus is to return to in-venue performance, allowing the technology to enhance the audience experience, empowering them to co-create the narrative with the performer, and with each other. Video game culture and mechanics used for escapism become a bridge back to each other as multiple tiers of audiences rely upon each other for support, empathy and sing-alongs.
This is a new kind of live theater inviting and challenging both the theater and gaming communities’ definition of “play.
Non-Player Character’s story, characters, lyrics and music were conceived, written, developed and performed by Brendan Andolsek Bradley who retains all rights to the underlying intellectual property and assets, filed with the U.S. copyright office on November 9, 2021. Maurice Soque Jr. entered the project for music arrangement and production and is acknowledged on all licenses, publishing and splits for the music. Michael Morran entered the project as a technical director and through this collaboration developed several proprietary integrations for theatrical cueing in WebVR. Jason Wang joined the team in mid 2022 as a User Experience Designer to workshop the interactions and game mechanics for both virtual and on-site audiences.