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CWRU students bringing virtual reality to center stage at the Maltz Performing Arts Center

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Posted at 6:33 AM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 06:33:57-04

CLEVELAND — The Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University is taking on a new look through virtual reality technology with the help of the university’s mechanical engineering students.

The project, creating the future of stage setup, has been years in the making as it aims to help to simplify the experience for visiting performers since planning special events can sometimes be challenging. However, using 3D modeling, production crews can design their event without stepping foot in the building. Crews can even use the technology to add in moveable items like chairs, music stands, risers and pianos.

John Mays, who is one of the five students working on the project, says he “thought it was an exciting idea,” but “had no idea that it was going to blossom into this.

The project could help reduce production time and cost. In addition, it could also give students some hands-on experience and jobs.

“It gives you a different kind of motivation and it's more exciting and you feel more personally invested into it,” said Mays.

The virtual reality program is still being refined, but it will eventually be offered to clients online.