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Five SXSW 2018 events for theater lovers

Photograph: Steven Snow

SXSW 2018 is almost upon us, which means Austinites will soon be faced with close to two week of music, movies, panel discussions and, of course, traffic jams. Amidst all of the high-profile events, though, it might be easy to overlook some cool theater-related happenings that are part of this year’s festival.

If you’re a theater geek trying to find your way through a music/movies/tech festival, we’ve got you. Check out these SXSW events that are geared towards theater lovers, all of which are conveniently happening on the same day: March 13. Be sure to check the links to each event for badge requirements.

Choreographing the City: Policy through Performance
For the local dance fan, SXSW has you covered with this panel all about Forklift Danceworks, an Austin-based company that produces unique performance projects in collaboration with diverse communities. The panelists will discuss the company’s newest work, the Pools Project, which “uses dance to engage historically disenfranchised communities on the East Side of Austin.” Four Seasons, Ballroom CD, Mar 13, 9:55am-10:40am

Brave New World: The Future of Theatre & Tech
This is the SXSW event for theater geeks, as it features several industry experts (including Sarah Ellis, the director of digital development for the Royal Shakespeare Company) discussing the ways in which technology—like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)—will influence the future development of live theater. If you want to know what a night out at the theater will look like a decade from now, check out this panel to learn more. JW Marriott, Salon 1-2, Mar 13, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Life Underground: Meet Subway Riders of the World
Life Underground is one of several immersive storytelling experiences at this year’s festival. The documentary short about subway riders in more than 15 cities around the world features live, interactive and immersive elements that will allow audience members to experience what it’s like getting inside the heads of the silent, anonymous commuters sitting across from them. Austin Convention Center, Room 5ABC, Mar 13, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Keeping Performing Arts Alive in a Digital World
Although much of SXSW is about digital experiences, this panel focuses on ways to keep live performance vibrant in an age of screens. Panelists from BroadwayHD, Disney Theatrical Group and Universal Theatrical Group will discuss how digital capture and streaming can actually be used to help support and preserve live theater and dance, rather than simply making them outdated. Austin Convention Center, Room 17B, Mar 13, 2pm-3pm

City Everywhere: A Storytelling Tour Through the Landscapes of Technology
City Everywhere is a SXSW rarity—an actual performance piece! Creator Liam Young, billed as a “speculative architect,” will take audience members on an imaginary tour of the fictional “City Everywhere,” telling the story of what tomorrow’s cities will look like and how our own technologies will continue to advance, and encroach upon, our lives as human beings. Four Seasons, Ballroom CD, Mar 13 5pm-6pm

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