Now in its third year, hACkT is a week long digital theatre summer school I devise and deliver with long time collaborator Dave Norton and the fantastic Mercury Theatre, Colchester.
As a facilitator, hackt offers me an opportunity to explore new and exciting workshop ideas in a performance setting. This year we took full advantage of the new Micro:bit and Scratch3 integration, allowing for bluetooth game controllers to be easily built with familiar block coding. I also experimented with the micro:bit as a midi controller, something I hope to continue exploring in future projects.
This year we were also joined by artist Laura Trevail, who’s background in theatre making and raspberry pi programming was a wonderful addition. She lead workshops on chatbots and promenade theatre making, Dave did Arduino programming (with a plethora of sensors to play with) and improv theatre whilst I did micro:bit midi controllers and micro:bit scratch 3 controllers.
These workshops then fed into a performance on the final day, where we converted the studio into an arcade – complete with; big screen hoola-hoop games, a corridor of custom cardboard arcade cabinets, a robot wars arena (with hand coded/built cars) and even a chat bot murder mystery chat in the restaurant space.
Hoola-hoop #Microbit hooked up to @scratch 3 and projected on the big screen at @mercurytheatre!
Check out the custom cardboard arcade cabinet too – all designed, built and coded by the young people at our #hACkT digital theatre summer school. pic.twitter.com/Y66exAU1BU
— Frazer Merrick (@frazermerrick) August 12, 2018
hACkT is always an intense week of facilitating and creating, but its a brilliant one. Making large scale work with 25 young people and then welcoming an audience of around 50-60 people into the room to experience it – its a brilliant experience that I love doing.
Thank you to Laura Trevail for the photos/gifs.