Show Show - Virtual Reality Gaming, Animation & Comedy
Feb 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Minors OK when accompanied by a parent or guardian
R-rated, for ages 18+

Doors open at 7:00

$15 Advance
$20 At the Door
$12 Student w/ ID

Show Show features comedians performing standup and playing virtuality reality games based on their jokes. There will also be audience crowd gaming on the big screen while Mechlo plays live chiptunes! Come early to experience augmented reality playing cards featuring previous Show Show animations!

Curtis Cook
Becky Braunstein
Caitlin Weierhauser
Marcus Coleman
Chris Ettrick

Musical guest Mechlo
Hosted by Melody Rowell

VR developer: Michael J Hill

AR developers: Alicia Hoke Navarrette, Yori Kvitchko

Game developers: Cristiano Ferreira, Ben Scheiner, Mitchell Rivet, Kelly Gawne

Game artists: Ben Chapin, Grayson Bear, Sophya Vidal, Seven Bloom, Kelly Fry, Cristiano Ferreira, Melody Rowell

Poster art by Hagen Deloss
Ticket sales ended Feb 2, 2018 7:00 PM. Additional tickets may be available at the box office.
Show Show | 8:00 PM
Show Show put on a special VR-AR performance this Friday, December 8th 2017. I had honestly never seen anything like it before.

Before and after the show, Alicia Navarrette showcased an augmented reality card game that she co-created with a number of local animators. Alicia is a Creative Producer and Strategy Consultant out of Portland, Oregon.

From what I gathered, this AR project was in the making for over a year. The game's genre is somewhere between rock-paper-scissors and Magic The Gathering, with wacky psychedelic art featured on each card. When a player draws a set of rock paper and scissors from the same artist, they can place them on this surface to be detected by the webcams, triggering and unlocking an animation by that same artist. Very cool!

Ben Chapin, one of the animator/illustrator/designers that contributed to the project, was present at the show. We had a minute to chat and I found out later that he organizes a small animation festival in Portland called Overlapping Action. The website includes samples of his work, for example this reel called Grow that's reminiscent of Bill Plympton's work in its fast-paced facial transformations:

The show began around 7:30 with an introduction from producer-host Melody Rowell. She's funny as hell and did a great job keeping the crowd engaged. The first segment of the night featured four comedians, including Chris Ettrick, Marcus Coleman, Caitlin Weiehauser, and Becky Braunstein.

Each of the comedian's bits were followed by a 15-45 second live VR experience where they put on a helmet and narrated their experience in front of the audience. What made this so mind bending was that, unbeknownst to the audience, each of the VR segments were crafted based on content from their jokes.

Chris joked about hiding his alcoholism under the guise of holiday celebrations and then played Beer Pong VR. Caitlin asked a confounding question to the audience - has anyone ever seen squirrel poop? Where does it go? Do dogs eat it? Shortly after, she was in a field outdoors throwing fireballs at oncoming squirrels.

During the final segment of the night, Matthew Hunter (Mechlo / in-house Chiptune DJ @ Ground Kontrol) brought down the house with an OCTOTRACK sequencer and midi notes pulled straight of an NES soundcard. While we listened to his music, a second round of visual treats were disseminated; this time around, the audience was brought into the fold with home-made controllers that allowed us to interact with the animations on screen.

Once again, they blurred the lines by creating games based on the stories and jokes from earlier in the night. For example, comedian Marcus Coleman lamented the pains of getting old and pulling a muscle during sex... while he's on the bottom. So of course one of the games required the audience to synchronize-tap as his face flew across the screen. If we all tapped while his face was inside the silhouette then he would lay down and thrust his hips into the air. If we failed and tapped prematurely, the screen shook and turned red, with his expressive face contorting in pain, presumably from the pulled muscle.

I spoke with tech director Michael Hill after the event to find out more about his background and role in the project. He designed both the hardware and software that ran the crowd gaming experience. He also built all of the VR games and provided the hardware to run them. Michael has a BA in Multimedia Arts and Sciences, a minor in Computer Science from UNC Asheville, and has worked with several Portland companies including Dot Dot Dash, Second Story, and Wieden Kennedy. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @wildparadox.
- Ezra Sandzer-Bell more >>>