Future of Storytelling

The Tempest

The Tempest - FoST Festival
If Shakespeare were alive today, he would be using the latest technology to wow audiences and bring characters to life. Four hundred years later, the Royal Shakespeare Company has been inspired by that ambition to find ways to add new dimension to The Tempest, Shakespeare’s most magical play. This performance-capture demo showcases some of the technology from the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2016 production of The Tempest in collaboration with Intel and made in association with The Imaginarium Studios.

Editor's Note:

FoST SUMMIT moved from Fall 2019 to Spring 2020

June 3-4, 2020 • NYC

The following article is about a previous event -

Get ready for more than 40 World and US Premieres at a three-day immersive extravaganza n Staten Island. Snug Harbor Cultural Center will feature director Steven Soderbergh, comedian Chris Gethard, plus Over 100 interactive exhibits, performances, games, and experiences. 

The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) Festival will take place October 6-8. More than 100 hands-on technology experiences; including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence experiences, plus interactive installations, will drive the world’s largest immersive storytelling event. Panel discussions with entertainment, media, technology, and marketing visionaries will take place alongside live theater performances, and a multiperson VR theater.

Main Stage

A Conversation with Steven...
Fri. 10/6, 11:00am–12:00pm 
Join Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh in conversation about his career and Mosaic, a new interactive project he is developing for HBO.

The main stage events include writer and director Steven Soderbergh, on October 5, discussing his career and Mosaic, a new interactive project he is developing for HBO. “Mosaic represents a fresh way of telling and experiencing a story, so I can think of no group more appropriate (and intimidating) to introduce it to than FoST Festival’s audience,” said Soderbergh.

An evening of music with Bob Boilen and John Paul White takes place on October 6, hosted by NPR. Comic Chris Gethard will be headlining an evening of comedy on Sunday October 7 with stand-up support from Aparna Nancherla, Adam Wade, and Marina Franklin.

Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot on USA Network, will host a conversation that includes an advance screening of the premiere episode of the third season.  

Find the full main stage lineup here.

Featured Exhibits

Alice, The Virtual Reality Play is a complete VR experience that immerses viewers into a virtual scene and allows them to interact physically in real time with characters and objects. Alongside the main narrative, the viewer understands progressively that they are Alice, and that they must, just like Lewis Carroll’s heroine, engage with the characters they meet to catch her crown before the clock strikes.

Using facial recognition technology as a navigation device, RIOT 2.0 takes you on a personalized journey through the fringes of a protest-turned-riot, in which your emotional responses to the situations you encounter and the characters you meet will determine your fate. It combines technical and creative innovation by integrating various software platforms into a receptive storytelling experience in which the player's emotional state is the remote-control for the story.

SPOONS is an interactive experience in virtual reality, a gateway to the surrealist pop world of illustrator Nicolas Barrome. A universe populated with anthropomorphic biscuits, bloody axes, and dogs cut into strips, pencil effects and mesh screens are therefore legion. Immersed in this strange universe, viewers are taken on a confusing trip in a world marked by disproportion and symbolism.

Follow two ever-changing creatures as they flow from one life-form to another on a vivid journey of sound and light. Sonaria’s visual language is simple and abstract, designed to suggest, while the sonic language is layered and immersive, designed to answer.

Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanos as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multiperson VR adventure. Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams.


Flock - FoST Festival
Flock is a location-based, multi-user, untethered VR experience made for large groups to interact in the same physical and virtual space. The experience is an interactive music video designed to get people to move, shake, and flock together. As they hunt and peck, participants become performers, both for each other and for the surrounding audience.

“Multisensory storytelling is about putting the audience in the driver’s seat and making them active participants in their own stories,” says Charles Melcher, FoST Founder and Director, and President of Melcher Media. “Finding opportunities to tell these stories wherever you are takes things off the page and puts them into the audience’s own hands for a truly multidimensional experience.”

Comedy Night

Chris Gethard

Sat. 10/7, 6:30–8:00pm 
Chris Gethard is the host and star of Funny or Die's The Chris Gethard Show on TruTV and the host of the popular Earwolf podcast Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People.

Novo Reality

Robot arm - FoST Festival
The Novo Reality platform delivers immersive VR entertainment that merges physical feelings with virtual worlds—a combination that creates a whole new reality that looks and feels real. When combined with the company’s state-of-the-art motion-simulation robotics, you have an experience that can be found nowhere else on Earth..

In addition to the main stage performances the Festival will feature over 40 world and US premieres and the latest and most innovative in VR, AR, AI, mixed reality, haptics, sensors, games, interactive videos, and more.

• Novo Reality, a 9-ton robotic arm will catapult you through space while you experience an original VR film about automation and the future of collaborated work.
• Edible Reflections, a multisensory audio and food experience bringing friends and strangers together.
• Broken Bone Bathtub, a powerful one-woman immersive theater performance that takes place in a bathtub.

Find the full lineup of exhibits here.

The Cloud Machine

Cloud Machine - FoST Festival
The Cloud Machine is a large-scale installation containing an audience-generated cloud that speaks and behaves in particular ways, depending on the spectators’ mental state. The theater set itself is designed based on how the mind works, what comes into focus and how it is processed—what is often referred to as Cartesian Theater. This 3D-projected social sculpture combines cinema, theater,and visual art, inspired by the illusionist spectacles and séances of the 19th century. The Cloud Machine is the final part of a trilogy that investigates the audience's role as cocreators of all artistic work.

The 2017 FoST Prize finalists, presented by Microsoft, will exhibit their projects. Three $5,000 prizes will be awarded in two categories: an Independent Category, and a Corporate Category. Attendees can vote for the winners on the FoST website or on the Festival app. 

Food truck fans are in luck too, as the FoST Festival will feature many of the best.

“New York City is full of amazing stories and budding storytellers. A walk down the street in any of the five boroughs quickly reveals the reason for the expression, ‘It could only happen in New York!’” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “It is only natural that our city would host the pre-eminent storytelling festival right here in our backyard. I applaud Charlie Melcher and his team at the Future of Storytelling for bringing such a captivating and signature event to Snug Harbor.”


To purchase tickets and to view the full FoST Festival lineup, visit www.fost.org/fest.

• Regular-Price Full-Day Ticket: $40
• 3-Day Premier Pass: $110

ABOUT FUTURE OF STORYTELLING The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) is an organization that explores how storytelling is evolving in the digital age. FoST hosts two of the world's leading immersive storytelling events: the invitation-only FoST Summit for C-suite executives, technologists, and brilliant creatives, and the public FoST Festival, the world’s largest immersive storytelling festival. In addition, FoST produces a wide range of content and programming, including curated exhibitions, an annual series of short films, Tech Tastings, and storytelling workshops. For more information, please visit: www.fost.org.
FoST Festival is made possible by generous partner support: Epic: Microsoft Heroic: USA Syfy. Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment. WNYC. NPR. Classic: Turner. Cartoon Network. Spectrum. PlayStation. Samsung. RWJF. Home Depot. Ingram. Momentum. The Brand Experience. CommPRO. Edelman. The Standard. Contributor: HTC VIVE. Google. Pneuhaus. Hartford Rentals. Inch. College of Staten Island. Content: Women in VR. Consulate General of Sweden. French Embassy in the USA. Swissnex and the Swiss Arts Council. Consulate General of the Netherlands. Media: Quartz. SiriusXM.

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