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Jul. 24, 2012 10:00 am

New Paradise Laboratories: experimental theatre company’s latest production shows you the Internet through different eyes [VIDEO]

Whit MacLaughlin wants you to fall down the rabbit hole with FRAME. FRAME is the latest project from MacLaughlin’s experimental theatre company New Paradise Laboratories. Launched last month, it’s an interactive online performance that has the discovery aspects of StumbleUpon and the crafty image curation of blogs like ‘but does it float’ — except it’s […]

A taste of New Paradise Laboratories' FRAME.

Whit MacLaughlin wants you to fall down the rabbit hole with FRAME.

FRAME is the latest project from MacLaughlin’s experimental theatre company New Paradise Laboratories. Launched last month, it’s an interactive online performance that has the discovery aspects of StumbleUpon and the crafty image curation of blogs like ‘but does it float’ — except it’s curated by performers or “specialists” and the audience is encouraged to join in.

The “specialists” — actors, essentially — guide the conversation by posting videos, images and websites they’ve found or created, says Director of Internet Practices Michael Alltop, and anyone can join in and respond with their own (found or created) online media.

It’s supposed to feel like you’re seeing the Internet through someone else’s eyes and even getting to know that person. Alltop says the audience is also encouraged to be someone else, take on a different persona.

“It’s got this DIY, augmented reality feel,” MacLaughlin, 59, says.

The site has gotten more than 24,000 unique visits since its beta launch last year. Alltop says FRAME will continue indefinitely.

New Paradise Laboratories, based in Northern Liberties, is constantly trying to figure out how to create “fictions,” as Alltop puts it, in the new medium of the Internet. Earlier this year, Mashable reported on two of the not-for-profit theatre company’s projects: Fatebook, a production that starts on Facebook and ends up on stage, and Extremely Public Displays of Privacy, a performance that takes place on Chatroulette, YouTube and finally on stage. New Paradise Laboratories is taking Fatebook to Prague in 2013.

Next up: Catch the theatre company at the Philly Fringe Festival with its production, 27, this September.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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