UpStage is a browser-based venue for live online performance (also known as cyberformance). Remote performers – players – collaborate in real-time using a variety of digital media, while online audiences can participate from anywhere in the world by clicking on a link, without having to download and install any additional software. UpStage is also used in hybrid online-offline performances and for presentation and discussion events.
UpStage is open source and available to anyone who would like to use it. To find out more, visit upstage.org.nz and go to UpStage.Live to create an account.
UpStage was first developed in 2003 in Aotearoa New Zealand, born out of the fantasies of the globally-dispersed cyberformance troupe Avatar Body Collision and the code-magic skills of artist-programmer Douglas Bagnall. It was launched in January 2004. Since then hundreds of artists and students of all ages from all over the world have created and presented performances in UpStage. Six annual festivals of online performance were held in UpStage from 2007 to 2012. You can find out more at the UpStage website, including video showreels and publications about UpStage and cyberformance.
In 2021, UpStage was ‘mobilised’ and relaunched in the context of Mobilise/Demobilise, a Creative Europe-funded collaboration project between Teater InterAkt (Sweden), Schaumbad Freies Atelierhaus Graz (Austria), the Center for the Cultivation of Technology (Germany) and UpStage. This new version represents a complete re-engineering of the UpStage software to remove dependency on Flash software, and introduces many new features and enhancements. It comes at a time when interest in online events and demand for purpose-built platforms has surged.
UpStage offers an open-source, artist-led, accessible and customizable online venue, paired with a vibrant artistic and developer community and a rich knowledge base.