Toasterlab’s Involvement

Toasterlab hired the actors and produced the entire experience of Transmission.

Overview of Discipline, Context, Intention

Arrival meets Pokemon Go in Transmission, a distributed performance and podcast series about first contact with alien life.

Transmission is an immersive theatre production that tells the story of two brilliant sisters selected to join a mission to meet our celestial neighbours. Their story is told through a live show at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a podcast, and several site-specific, augmented reality scenes throughout Edinburgh.

Using live performance, installations, and immersive video and audio to reveal the distributed story of the first manned interstellar mission to our closest exoplanet, transmission ‘haunts’ Edinburgh with the ghosts of an alternative reality future.


Transmission features 29 augmented reality scenes, distributed through the city of Edinburgh. Each scene offers a glimpse into the events leading up to and following humanity’s first interstellar journey. An app serves as the dossier for transmission, your guide to the world of Leila and Zada Karam, the Saena, and Luxtaterra. It delivers the geolocation and access to the related location-based content to audience members as you wander the city.


Transmission was originally conceived by Ian Garrett at the 2015 Indy Convergence residency. After the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Toasterlab then started producing and recording segments of Transmission in Edinburgh, Toronto, and New York.

Performance Runs

The Transmission podcast episodes were released by Toasterlab between March 2017 and August 2017.

A panel about the Transmission podcast was held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in April 2017.

Transmission was presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017, as part of the FuturePlay sub-festival.

The recorded content of Transmission was shown at the Future of Storytelling Festival in New York City in October 2017.

Relevant Organizations and People

Creative Team
Laura Clark – Stage Manager
Anahita Debonehie – Set/Costume Designer
Ian Garrett – Producer
Justine Garrett – Writer
Kate Ladenheim – Associate Producer
Monty Martin – Video Designer
Miles Potters – Composer/Sound Designer
Megan Reilly – Lighting Designer
Ian Ritcher – Sound Engineer
Andrew Sempere – Developer
Sydney Skybetter – Choreographer
Steph Smart – Associate Producer (EDI)
Maggie Sulc – Writer
Julie Tepperman – Co-Director
Ellen Wendell – Production Assistant
Aaron Willis – Co-Director
Victor Wolters – Production Manager/Technical Director

Afia Farooki – Mackenzie
Leila Ghaznavi – Leila
Dave Glista – Joel
James Hill – Skylar
Nada Humsi – Astir
Youssif Kamal – Harun
Cecilia Lynn-Jacobs – Host/Anna
Jamie Stewart – Joseph