UpStage is a browser-based venue for live online performance (also known as cyberformance). Remote performers ("players") collaborate in real-time using a variety of digital media, and online audiences can participate from anywhere in the world by clicking on a link, without having to download and install any additional software.
UpStage is open source and available to anyone who would like to use it.
UpStage was first developed in 2003 in New Zealand, born out of the fantasies of the globally-dispersed cyberformance troupe Avatar Body Collision and the code-magic skills of artist-programmer Douglas Bagnall. It was launched in January 2004 and since then hundreds of artists and students of all ages from all over the world have created and presented performances in UpStage. Six annual festivals of online performance were held in UpStage from 2007 to 2012. You can find out more at the UpStage website, including video showreels and publications about UpStage and cyberformance.
In 2021, UpStage has been "mobilised" and relaunched in the context of Mobilise/Demobilise, a Creative Europe funded collaboration project between UpStage, Teater InterAkt (Sweden), Schaumbad Freies Atelierhaus Graz (Austria) and the Center for the Cultivation of Technology (Germany). This new version represents a complete re-engineering of the software to remove dependency on Flash, and introduces many new features and enhancements. It comes at a time when interest in online events and demand for purpose-built platforms has surged.
UpStage offers an open-source, artist-led, accessible and customisable online venue, paired with a vibrant artistic and developer community and a rich knowledge base.
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