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.

Group photo glitched over SSTV

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.

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.