Project Info:

Interactive Theater, Custom Interface Solutions


Parties involved:
KIT Theatre
Urban Myth
Urbi et Orbi

This project was realized for Urbi et Orbi who where asked by KIT Tropentheater to create the animations for Jalaani and the lock.

Quick Project Listing:

Click on one of the projects from the list below to learn more about some of our other work.

- Swarm
- Wixel Cloud
- Wixel Play
- Wixels
- TouchMe
- Robotract
- Demor: location-based 3d audiogame
- Jalaani
- MoCap Performance


Jalaani and the Lock is a play for children that combines the live performance of actors and pre-made animations. To allow the actors some leeway to engage in dialog with the audience a method was sought that could bridge the gap between the lose timing associated with acting and the strict timing of animations. An interface was devised that used a wireless game-controller to give the actors control over the timing of the animated sequences.

This play was produced by KIT Theatre, multi- media house Urbi et Orbi and theatre group Urban Myth to give children of African descent insight in their history. Live music, actors and animation are used to tell the remarkable story of Jalaani, an otherwise ordinary Dutch boy. Through an old rusty lock that is given to him for his 10th birthday, Jalaani gets sucked into a computer game that teaches him about the path of his ancestors.

The animations that are used to tell part of this story are projected on a big screen in the center of the stage. As the actors' performance and animations are sometimes densely interdependent, it was important to find an interface that allowed the actors to have control over the timing of the animations. In this theatrical setting it was essential that this solution be both robust and inconspicuous. A combination of a wireless game-controller and custom software turned out to be a perfect fit for this particular situation. The game-controller fitted nicely as a prop into the setting of this story, was easy to use and proved reliable. Because there was an opportunity to work closely with both animators and actors, it was relatively painless to quickly implement any script changes in the software.

Jalaani and the Lock was performed in several theaters all over Holland and even made a trip to Surinam in 2004 for performances in Paramaribo. The play provoked an enthusiastic response of its audiences everywhere. The flawless operation of the hard/software solution made at least a small contribution to this success.


'Jalaani and the lock' promotional flyer.

Actor on stage controlling the video projected behind him.