PlayON! is a successful larger scale cooperation project announced by the European Commission under their European Culture Funding Stream Creative Europe.
The project was initiated by 9 theatres with experience in the use of digital technologies and a university with high digital expertise. 6 of the theatres have already played an important role in the EU funded project PLATFORM Shift+. The Estonian project leader, VAT Teater from Tallinn, was one of them. 8 universities from the creative digital sector are associated partners in order to facilitate access to technical knowledge.

The digital transformation is causing major changes in our societies. Contemporary theatre must understand the processes of digital change and incorporate the changed communication models of people into its new concepts.
Dedicated to the theme “Concrete Utopias in the Digital Age” PlayON! is designed to understand, learn, test and apply immersive technology in (e.g. immersive gaming structures, Augmented and Virtual reality, Binaural Sound, Holography, SLAM /simultaneous location and mapping/, Project mapping etc.) in order to shift classical storytelling to interactive narrative formats.
Within 4 years the partners aim:

  • to develop new forms of storytelling, building on narrative structures used in the creative game sector
  • to merge these new forms with a variety of immersive technologies
  • to use this new format to extend theatre towards the public urban space (immersive outreach) with relevant stories and the involvement of young adults as co-creators.

In 3 phases, the theatres will work on one of the objectives in terms of content and technology. The learned gained at each stage will enrich the next phase; at the end 27 productions will be created in total. After 4 years the partners aim to have established new links between the artistic, professional training and industrial sectors. The most visible legacy will be a WIKI, an open source manual for theatres using immersive technology.



“Play, vote, choose and build the best of all worlds with us.”

Sofia is 17 years old and one day she gets out of bed and discovers that the air outside the house is unbreathable and the earth is sick. Someone buried poisons in the field behind her house and the health of her small ecosystem is at risk. However, the girl does not allow herself to be paralyzed by fear and decides to investigate the origin of this environmental disaster. What she will discover during her investigation will test her certainties by opening the way to a moral dilemma that sheds light on an uncovered nerve in our society: does the interest of the community come first or that of the individual? What are we willing to give up to get to the bottom of what we believe is right? Sofia, like all heroes, has a road paved with trials but can count on the support of two trusted companions, her friend Chen and a pastry chef uncle who stuffs her with sugar. But the essential sidekick, the active accomplice of every choice of the protagonist is the audience in the room. The best of all worlds is an interactive show that involves the audience in the construction of a story with many languages: the fast language of mobile applications, the contemporary one of the environmental issue, the playful one of role-playing games and the ancient one of natural philosophy.


First show proposed on Twitch, The best of all worlds was broadcasted live from the Teatro Testori in Forli on Friday 30 April at 9.00 pm.
Given the acceleration of the connectivity process, the production, first planned as a classical show in presence, was in fact adapted to be usable online on Twitch and reach that audience of young and very young people – often alien to the world of theater – without the mediation of teachers and parents.
The involvement of two very popular influencers on Instagram was fundamental in the design and promotion process: Victor Lazlo and Teresa Agovino helped to report the appointment online to their contacts by following him and interacting during the live broadcast.
The guiding thread and frame of the project is the environmental issue and the desire to sensitize viewers and spectators on the severity of the climate emergency we are experiencing. For this purpose those who want to can join the campaign of the non-profit Tree Planted with 1 euro; they will plant a tree for each donation received.

Creative Team

Assistant Director | CHIARA SARCONA
Ludologist | ANDREA LIGABUE with the advice of GAME SCIENCE RESEARCH CENTER and UniMoRe Technical direction | BOGDAN TUDOSE
Consulting and streaming design | FRANCESCO RICCARDI, EMANUELA FEDERICO