Rowan Acadia Dunlop, Pria Dahiya, Evan Vines (2024)

DYING LIKE GODS was a month-long series of workshop explorations into the integration of new age technology and ancient storytelling. Working from an in-progress script, we conducted creative research on incorporating projection design and AI-generated imagery into a pre-digital age piece. This research culminated into a 30-minute staged reading with full projection design, followed by a talkback where we got insightful responses from those we invited.

DYING LIKE GODS is a new play by Rowan Acadia Dunlop. Set in the wake of the Trojan War, it follows the lengths one Trojan noblewoman would go to enact revenge on a Greek royal family. Rowan began working with the The Iliad in 2017, and began developing this story in 2020. During her process she has conducted extensive research on Bronze Age Greece, and for the purposes of this project she interviewed Professor Stephen Wittick of CMU’s English Department and interviewed Associate Professor Joshua Schwartz of CMU’s Institute for Strategy and Technology, for further insight on the development of the role of military technology in DYING LIKE GODS.

The workshops allowed Rowan to develop her script simultaneously with media design and actor feedback, resulting in a fully synthesized theatrical piece which accounted for all of its parts. Over the course of our 5 workshops, we investigated uses of artificial intelligence, stable diffusion and projection mapping to commune with the ancient and the modern. We experimented with Midjourney prompting, and animated images with RunwayML, Pika Labs, and AfterEffects. We also rigorously examined shadow puppetry and analog projection equipment, and combination of manual and overhead projection with laser projections. This project was made possible with support from the Frank-Ratchye Further Fund Microgrant  #2024-029. Additional images can be found here.

Project Team

Rowan Acadia Dunlop
Pria Dahiya
Evan Vines