14 May 2024 17:00 - 18:00 Online event


An event organised by Cambridge Digital Humanities


Nathan Whitehouse is a writer, director, and video editor. After studying video game design and programming at Hampshire College and doing theatre in his free time, he was delighted to discover they could be combined. In 2016, he co-founded Dacha Theatre in Seattle, working with artists who shared a passion for experimentation and dreaming big. In 2020, when COVID forced theatre online, Nathan and Nick O’Leary co-created :robot_face:, further blurring the lines between theatre and games. His other immersive theatre experiences with Dacha Theatre include An Awfully Big Adventure (2017), Who Killed Otter’s Babies? (2018), Ghost Party (2018 and 2019), and The Veil (2023).


In Dacha Theatre’s online 2020 production, :robot_face:, audience members competed to program the most ‘human-like’ chatbots in an online game show. These chatbots were fully human, and were controlled by an original ‘coding language’ created for the show. These chatbots would be put through a series of ‘human situations’, such as landing a job or going on a date, hoping to earn the best grade with the judges. While the show contained a larger, more human plotline, this talk will focus on the process of designing an accessible interface through which our audience members could program and control their actor-chatbots.

This talk is the inaugural in a series of digital theatre lectures leading up to the second Theatre Hackathon in October 2024. We are grateful to the support of CDH and the Judith E Wilson Fund for making this event possible.


If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please email comms.events@cdh.cam.uk. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

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