The productions and people of IPL
JUNE 2002 – Mike Moshell, the chair of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida, invites Jeff Wirth to join the Digital Media program and supports the creation of new classes in Interactive Performance.
AUGUST 2002 – Jeff Wirth and JJ Ruscella join forces to establish the Interactive Performance Lab which is given its own space in T534 by UCF College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean, Dr. Terry Frederick.
SEPTEMBER 2002 – A group of dedicated students are selected to become the Interactive Performance Research Team, and begin training under the direction of Jeff Wirth (UCF Digital Media) and JJ Ruscella (UCF Repertory Theatre).
FEBRUARY 2003 – The Interactive Performance Lab’s Improv Gym opens its doors, with guest instructors that include Be Boyd, Jay Hopkins, Richard Paul; and participants that include UCF students and faculty, players from SAK Comedy Lab, and performers from Cirque du Soleil.
MAY 2003 -Interactive Performance students assist Professor John Wayne Shafer in concept development for his interactive performance of Antigone that will be presented by performers in Peoria, Illinois and Orlando, Florida over an internet teleconferencing system.
JUNE 2003 – Jeff Wirth designs and begins building the first StoryBox prototype.
AUGUST 2003 – The StoryBox prototype is completed and ready for use. Rogier Van Etten begins developing the first version of the StoryBox Ambient Sound Engine.
SEPTEMBER 2003 – The first iTeam (Interactive Performance Team) is cast and begins training and experimenting in the StoryBox.
OCTOBER 2003 – Working in partnership with the UCF School of Education, the Interactive Performance 2 class presents a series of Page to Stage performances at Ocoee Middle School, bringing students short stories to life though instant improvisation.
MARCH 2004 – The iTeam creates StoryBox character development experiences for the cast of God’s Country at UCF. The iTeam showcases interactive performance at the International Digital Media Arts Association conference in Orlando, Florida.
APRIL 2004 – The iTeam performs Inside God’s Country: a StoryBox experience of personal prejudice in conjunction with the UCF Repertory Theatre production of God’s Country.
MAY 2004 – The iTeam attends the Chicago Improv Festival.
OCTOBER 2004 – The iTeam collaborates with Lori Ingle’s Interactive Writing class at UCF to create Frankenstein: Behind the Bolts as part of the American Library Association exhibition at the UCF Library.
NOVEMBER 2004 – The iTeam presents three new StoryBox projects: A character development experience for the cast of Extremities from Rollins College; a parenting skills training experience for Brevard Community College’s Lab School; and a role-reversal experience for sanctioned students, created in collaboration with the UCF Police Department
APRIL 2005 – The UCF Interactive Performance 2 class and members of the iTeam, working in collaboration with Dr. Janet Whiteside from UCF’s Department of Communicative Disorders, develop and present Tell Me Goodnight: A StoryBox Experience for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.
JULY 2005 – Jeff Wirth and Dr. Janet Whiteside present research from the StoryBox production of Tell Me Goodnight at the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
AUGUST 2005 – Kenneth Ingraham produces and Jeff Wirth directs the Simu-Life The Game, a live-action interactive intrigue adventure in real-life settings across the city of Orlando utilizing UCF students, faculty, alumni, and professionals.
SEPTEMBER 2005 – Jay Barwick and Kevin Blackwelder perform PhoneArt, in which gallery patrons carry on conversations with fictional characters inspired by the art they are viewing. This project was developed for the Downtown Arts District in collaboration with the OVAL gallery and the Downtown Media Arts Center in Orlando.
OCTOBER 2005 – Working in partnership with WUCF, Jeff Wirth directs and Kenneth Ingraham produces the Interactive Radio Theatre as a proof-of-concept with a cast of professional improvisers and voice-over artists. The show concept is an improvised radio drama in which listeners can call in and play roles on the air.
JANUARY 2006 – Katie McLemore assumes leadership of iRoleplay, training interactive performers to present scenario-based role plays for soft-skills training for graduate students in the UCF School of Social Work, the UCF School of Business, and UCF Victim Services.
FEBRUARY 2006 – Claire Balgemann completes the Build the Box campaign in which donors helped to raise over $3,000 to build the touring version of the StoryBox.
MARCH 2006 – Through the coordination of Sharon Rock, the touring StoryBox is completed just in time for the two following off-site presentations. Hunter Williams and Alex Carvallo run the team that brings the touring StoryBox to it’s first public presentation at the Southeastern Theatre Conference. Dawn Borglund produces Project Red Balloons as an honors thesis comparing the responses to a live StoryBox presentation centered on AIDS awareness with the responses to a video-taped version of the same presentation. Jeff Wirth directs and Kenneth Ingraham produces the Simu-Life The Voice for the Florida Film Festival through the generous support of Sigrid and Philip Tiedke. Breaking new ground by using two spect-actors (neither of whom knew the other was a spect), the production was mounted with 24 actors and 30 technical support and developed with the partnership i.d.e.a.s., GMD Studios, Haxan Films, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Orlando Weekly, WKMG Channel 6, Orlando Science Center, and Winter Park City Government.
APRIL 2006 – The iTeam showcases iRoleplay at the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission’s “Economic Renaissance Through Technology & Art,” an industry showcase of new digital technology at the Orlando Museum of Art. Dr. Michael Moshell, Kenneth Ingraham, and Jeff Wirth present the paper, “Digital Media and Environmental Interactive Performance” at the International Digital Media and Arts Association in Oxford, Ohio.
MAY 2006 – Kat Eggert and Jay Barwick host the first Interactive Performance Lab Reunion at the Downtown Media Arts Center in Orlando, Florida.
JUNE 2006 – The documentary of IPL’s Simu-Life, The Voice receives its premiere showing at the Enzian Theatre.
SEPTEMBER 2006 – The Interactive Performance Lab receives the Simiosys Innovator of the Year Award. The iTeam performs an interactive story development session for Memoryscape, a multi-media interactive story installation designed by Dana Mott at the Media Convergence Laboratory.
OCTOBER 2006 – Kenneth Ingraham wraps post-production on the DVD of The Voice and releases a two-disc set, complete with story, documentary, and special features.
NOVEMBER 2006 – Working in partnership with the Media Convergence Laboratory, Simiosys, and Dan Mapes, the iTeam pioneers a new meta-programming process for developing video games while generating characters for a video game that will be used to assess teachers’ ability to succeed in inner-city schools.
JANUARY 2007 – Working with in partnership with Forterra Systems Inc., Dana Mott leads the team that builds virtual locations for the upcoming Simu-Life, Framed.
MARCH 2007 – Collaborating with the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, IPL showcases iRoleplay as a cutting-edge training system for service recovery to leaders from the hospitality industry.
APRIL 2007 – Partnering with the IST Media Convergence Lab, the iTeam perform in a mixed-reality environment in which sophisticated bio-metric systems measure the impact of social psychological stimuli on stutterers.
JUNE 2007 – IPL produces Framed, the first mixed-reality Simu-life to combine real-world and virtual-world scenes. Project partners include the Orlando City Hall, Forterra Systems, Inc., Planet Digital, the Q Gallery, Ichiban Restaurant, and Manuel’s on the 28th.
NOVEMBER 2007 – The iTeam presents live ethical dilemmas in medicine and education though EthicsBox, a part of the $25K Core Commitments grant developed by Dr. Nancy Stanlick. with efficacy research conducted by Dr. Steve Fiore.
JANUARY 2008 – Kenneth Ingraham directs the iTeam in ED Live!, an emergency department simulation for resident doctors at the University of Florida / Shands Hospital.
MARCH 2008 – The iTeam an iRoleplay “soft-skills” training for members of the Early Advantage MBA program at Rollins College. Under the direction of Dana Mott, IPL presents the first Interactive Performance Conference, attracting national and international participation. Claire Balgemann directs The Cell, one of the offerings of the Interactive Performance Showcase, directed by Alex Carvallo.
MAY 2008 – StoryBox showcases at a meeting of the Themed Entertainment Association..
SEPTEMBER 2008 – Jeff Wirth presents the work of IPL to department heads at Lockheed Martin.
NOVEMBER 2008 – The iTeam presents EthicsBox II, as part of the continuing efforts of the UCF Core Commitments initiative.
FEBRUARY 2009 – Dr. Jacki Morie brings the iTeam out to the USC Institute for Creative Technology to conduct a two-day StoryBox workshop for leading national researchers and industry professionals.
MARCH 2009 – Jeff Wirth assists Laura Trad in the development of her project, Click Your Own Adventure, a vote-driven, story-based educational tool.
APRIL 2009 – The iTeam attends the Chicago Improv Festival, presenting workshops led by Claire Balgemann, and two StoryBox shows, one directed by Curt del Principe featuring the iTeam, and the other directed by Jeff Wirth with the iTeam and guest performances by Joe Bill, Cory Rouse, Will Luera, and Michael McCracken.
JULY 2009 – Working in collaboration with Disney Imagineering, Jeff Wirth directs and Ken Ingraham produces a multi-guest, multi-day, multi-park interactive story playtest at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
SEPTEMBER 2009 – Curt del Principe leads the Interactive Performance Jam, a weekly workshop and performance jam session, at the UCF Center for Emerging Media.
OCTOBER 2009 – With the assistance of Jill Bernard, Jeff Wirth trains improvisers and presents a StoryBox performance as a part of the workshop, Ethical Identity and Imagination for the American Association of Colleges and Universities Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Working with Michele Learman, Jeff also serves as a session leader for Guerilla Ethics conference session. Using interactive performance as a focus group technique, Jeff Wirth works with Dr. Karen Aroian to facilitate a focus group on discrimination for Muslim teens. Dawn Borglund directs and performs her MFA thesis project, Evelyn Offscreen, a horror-themed SimuLife.
In 2010, Florida budget cutbacks eliminated the interactive performance training courses at the University of Central Florida. Research initiatives based on the work of IPL continue to evolve and grow at the Institute of Simulation and Training. The work of IPL will resume in full force when a new interactive performance degree program is established. Institutions interested in becoming the home to such a training program should contact Jeff Wirth for further details.