Major:The Narrative Theatre - A Creativity Enhancement Environment

James Lester Investigator)
Hiller Spires (Co-Principal Investigator)

North Carolina State University
RALEIGH, NC 27695 919/515-2444


Representation is a central construct in the creative process. Exploring alternate representations can significantly increase the quality of artifacts created, and using multiple representations enables creators to broadly consider the multifaceted nature of the problem spaces they explore. Narrative offers an ideal laboratory for investigating multiple representations in the creative process because stories can be expressed in rich text (a static, uni-modal representation) re-represented in animated stories with accompanying narration and spoken dialogue (a dynamic, multimodal representation). The objective of the proposed research is to design, build, and empirically evaluate an interactive creativity environment that facilitates the exploration of alternate representations in the creative process. In particular, the proposed work will focus on the Narrative Theatre, an interactive narrative-centered creativity environment. The project will yield a cognitive account of creativity that will inform the design of next-generation creativity environments. By promoting rich interactions that are simultaneously effective and engaging, it will find broad application in education and training technologies. The project will increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities. It will involve a diverse population in the Narrative Theatre user studies, it will involve women in all aspects of the research, it will train undergraduates through involvement in formal and informal research exposure efforts, and it will increase the participation of women and underrepresented groups in computer science through interaction with the STARS Alliance.