Screen South Hi3 Network Panel: How Writers Can Shape the Future of Immersive Storytelling

Screen South & Hi3 Network Panel:
How Writers Can Shape the Future of Immersive Storytelling

Followed by Networking

Register Now

Click here to register for this free panel, part of the Folkestone Book Festival


Folkestone Quarterhouse,
Tontine Street,
Kent, CT20 1BN

Please let us know if you have any access requirements


24th November, 16:00 - 17:00 Followed by Networking at 17:30 at the Digital Glassworks

What's it all about?

Join Screen South for a free Hi3 Network Panel: How Writers Can Shape the Future of Immersive Storytelling, part of the Folkestone Book Festival from Creative Folkestone.

This free panel session invites writers, readers, and audiences to think about their places in immersive storytelling. New creative technology including VR, XR (Extended Reality), and immersive media has radical implications for the future of storytelling. It’s broken down boundaries between art forms, provided opportunities for experiments in narrative, and challenged traditional models of writer-audience relationships.

The best XR projects have good writing and storytelling at their heart. So how can more writers take part in this world? Sacha Wares (associate director of the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, Innovation Associate at ETT and Founder of Trial and Error Studio) leads this inspiring panel discussion with writers and other storytellers who’ve worked with XR including Ella Hickson, Simon Stephens, and Gareth Fry.

The Speakers:

Sacha Wares is Associate Director of the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio and digital innovation associate at English Touring Theatre. Previously, associate director of the Royal Court Theatre (2007 – 2013) and an associate at the Young Vic Theatre (2010 – 2017). In recent years, Sacha’s focus has shifted to exploring the potential of new technologies including virtual and augmented reality. She is currently developing a number of XR (extended reality) projects with her company Trial and Error Studio in collaboration with the NT, including an ambitious new piece Inside: The Live and Work of Judith Scott (IDFA Forum Award 2020), that is part interactive installation and part exhibition.
Sacha Wares
Associate Director
Ella Hickson is an award-winning playwright whose work has been performed throughout the UK and abroad. Since the beginning of 2020 she has worked with Sacha Wares on 'Adult Children' - an XR short about the pandemic, commissioned by the Donmar Theatre, which took issues around proximity as its subject and form. 'Adult Children' was a critical success at the London Film Festival, 2021. She also collaborated with Sacha Wares on 'Madame Kalamazoo', an interactive story-telling experience, supported by The National Theatre, delivered to children, by email, throughout lockdown. Children received nineteen stories, featuring themselves as characters, the stories encouraged them to create work which they could then, via an online messaging platform, share with other children. Hickson's play ‘Anna’, a sonic collaboration with Ben and Max Ringham, opened at the National Theatre in Spring, 2019. Other theatre includes, 'Swive’ (2019) at The Globe, ‘The Writer’ (2018) and ‘Oil’ (2016) at The Almeida Theatre, and ‘Wendy and Peter Pan’ (2015) at The Royal Shakespeare Company. She is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, a MacDowell Fellow and recipient of The Catherine Johnson Award. She is developing new work with The Old Vic, Tim Minchin and Warp Films.
Ella Hickson
Award-winning playwright
Simon Stephens is a playwright (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Blindness, The Threepenny Opera, Birdland, and more) and Professor of Scriptwriting at Manchester Metropolitan University. Simon previously taught on the Young Writers' Programme at the Royal Court Theatre. He has worked as an Associate at both the Lyric Hammersmith and the Royal Court and is also the inaugural Associate Playwright at Chicago's Steep Theatre Company, where four of his plays have had their US premieres.
Simon Stephens
Playwright & Professor
Gareth Fry is a multi-award-winning sound designer, best known for his cutting-edge theatrical work on productions such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Complicité’s The Encounter. He has also designed events and exhibitions, from the V&A’s landmark David Bowie Is exhibition, to being asked by Danny Boyle to design the sound effects for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. His expertise in binaural sound has also led to extensive work in VR/AR/XR, which has featured at the Sundance, Tribeca and Venice Film Festivals. Recent work includes In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats, a VR piece for East City Films and Coventry City of Culture.
Simon Stephens
Award-Winning Sound Designer

Folkestone Book Festival

The Screen South Hi3 panel is a free session as part of Creative Folkestone’s Folkestone Book Festival. The festival returns this November from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 November, where they will be exploring the Shape of Things to Come with inspiring writers from across the globe.

Through a packed programme of events, talks, and conversations we will be examining the most pressing issues of the day. Some events will look back at the past to see what lessons can be learned, while others imagine unknown futures. Topics will range from brains and bodies to life and leisure, and so much more. Click here to find out more.