Sarah Ellis

Director of Digital Development, Royal Shakespeare Company

Sarah Ellis

Technology and the future of theatre

How collaborations with digital pioneers can help theatre reimagine its connection with its audiences.

From candlelight to Pepper’s ghost, the printing press to the internet, theatre has always used the newest technologies to tell and share its stories. The tools that have developed over the past 400 years have been critical to enabling Shakespeare’s plays to be performed, reimagined and reinterpreted for diverse audiences, keeping the form of presentation as perennially relevant as the content of his work. It’s in this spirit that we at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have worked digitally over the past decade, expanding a theatre-making toolkit for our artists, our audiences and our organisation, and achieving genuine creative innovation, global impact and value.

Sarah Ellis is an award-winning producer currently working as Director of Digital Development for the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company in England to explore new artistic initiatives and partnerships.

The latest partnership for the RSC is the Audience of the Future Live Performance Demonstrator funded by Innovate UK – a consortium consisting of arts organisations, research partners and technology companies to explore the future of performances and real-time immersive experiences.

In 2017, Sarah became a fellow of the University of Worcester for her work in the arts and technology. In 2016 she was awarded The Hospital Club & Creatives Industries award for cross industry collaboration for her work on the RSC’s The Tempest in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios.

In 2013 she was listed in the top 100 most influential people working in Gaming and Technology by The Hospital Club and Guardian Culture Professionals. In partnership with Google, she produced Midsummer Night’s Dreaming winning two Lovie Awards for Innovation and Experimentation.

Sarah is a regular speaker and commentator on digital arts practice, as well as an Industry Champion for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, which helps inform academic research on the creative industries to lead to better policies for the sector. She has been appointed Chair of digital agency, The Space, established by Arts Council England and the BBC to help promote digital engagement across the arts.