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Quadruple Good News for Virtual Reality Research Into Ancient Theatres

Originally published 28 June 2002

University of Warwick Researchers Professor Richard Beacham and Dr Hugh Denard have received not just one but four pieces of good news this month in support of their work making virtual reality models of historically important but long lost ancient theatres.

The researchers, from the University of Warwick’s School of Theatre Studies, have won three new research grants totalling £308,000 – an enormous sum for Arts based research. The three new grants are as follows:

  • £55,000 to help the research team investigate the stage sets depicted on Pompeiian wall paintings by Roman artists to help inform their virtual reality models. The money will also help investigate the general decorative schemes of Roman houses.
  • £150,000 from JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee): for the researchers to work alongside University of Warwick IT specialists and Coventry’s City College Coventry (Tile Hill) and other University of Warwick researchers to take the vast amount of digital research material on ancient theatres created by the Virtual reality team at the University for research purposes and to develop these for use in innovative teaching applications across UK universities and colleges
  • £103,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) for a project to create virtual reality versions of the designs of the renowned Swiss theatre designer and visionary theorist Adolphe Appia This work will build on the recently completed EC sponsored THEATRON Project which has produced a 3D model of Appia’s revolutionary Hellerau theatre with the aim of building a virtual reality model that could actually host virtual performances.

To add to all this success Professor Richard Beacham has also received, at a ceremony in Washington D.C, a 21st Century Achievement Award and medal in the “Computerworld Honors” which are presented on an annual basis to people around the world who have (according to Patrick J. McGovern, Chairman of the Computerworld Honors Chairmen's Committee) “achieved outstanding progress for society through visionary use of information technology."

For further details please contact:

Professor Richard Beacham
School of Theatre Studies, University of Warwick
Tel: 024 7652 3021