UpStage is a web-based venue for online performance; it is an open source server application that has been in development since 2003. The second version of the software was developed with funding from the Community Partnership Fund of the New Zealand government’s Digital Strategy and released in June 2007.
Online audiences anywhere in the world participate in live performance events by going to a web page, without having to download and install any additional software.
Players (logged-in performers) have a variety of tools at their disposal on the stage, which allow the manipulation of avatars, backgrounds and props which have been previously created and uploaded. Avatars’ speech appears as speech bubbles on stage and is spoken aloud by text2speech functionality. Players can also draw directly onto the stage in real time.