Our Journey, Our Bridge – an XR Storytelling Experience

XR stands for eXtended Reality. You might have also heard it called mixed-reality or real-world metaverse. We merge digital and physical – bring the experience beyond the proscenium and use the real world as a stage.

In Emily Was Here, the Brooklyn Bridge is our stage.

Participants are guided by Emily Warren Roebling, the woman responsible for guiding the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, using the ChalkNotes AR app on their smartphone.

Step by Step, Emily is with you along the way. She introduces you to a New York love story, a series of classic poems, and shares personal historic moments - all while watching the sunset over the New York City skyline.

Emily Was Here is a new type of immersive experience:

This is a self-guided app-lead experience you can do solo at any time of day – minimal time for the experience is 50 minutes.

Using the ChalkNotes app on their smartphone, participants are virtually guided across the Brooklyn Bridge, in both directions, by Emily Warren Roebling. Learn more here

EMILY WAS HERE: A Unique Experience Where The Brooklyn Bridge Is The Stage

BY RJ FROMETA | July 19, 2022

VENTS caught up with the creators of Emily Was Here, the first groundbreaking immersive interactive experience that is available right now, on the famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

Hey guys! Welcome to VENTS. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Before we dig deep, tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! So, I am Alba Albanese, an actress, writer, and director. I founded an independent production company BrooklynGirl Productions and is a founding member of Actors Theater of NYC. I also wrote, developed, and created several immersive theater experiences, and interactive shows with emerging technology. I live in New York City and work in film, theater, immersive theater with tech and TV.

Hey guys, and I am Phil Olarte, an actor turned tech entrepreneur who founded and created ChalkNotes, a platform for creators to tell stories with the power of mixed reality technology. Last fall I produced Wherefore Art Thou Juliet, an augmented audio experience showcasing NYC’s Theater District. I am working at the forefront of a new type of theatrical storytelling where the story digitally integrates with the world around us.

We are excited to learn about ‘Emily Was Here’ on the Brooklyn Bridge. Can you tell us about it and when and how can people participate in ‘Emily Was Here’? 


Emily Was Here XR (extended or mixed reality) is an original interactive storytelling experience on a national landmark, the Brooklyn Bridge where you will experience several stories while walking across the Bridge. The interactive experience includes a personal journey guided by Emily Roebling, dozens of poems both classic and modern performed with a multidisciplinary cast, and an original New York City love story – all while discovering AR (augmented reality) visual moments throughout the bridge. Emily Was Here is designed specifically for an audience who walks across the bridge – binding elements of the story to different locations on the Bridge. 


What is mixed reality? It is when digital integrates with the real world. We use our phones as a window to this new world. Emily Was Here brings together both audio of actors performing, maps to guide you, and visual 3D objects – all related to your real world surroundings – all made visible through the ChalkNotes app. You unlock more and more of the story as you walk across the Bridge, moving from location to location. Unlike traditional theater, there is no start or stop time, but it does have a venue – the Brooklyn Bridge. You buy a ticket for access at newyorkcityxr.com or in-app, go to the Bridge, and start on your schedule on the ChalkNotes app. The first location gives you a tiny audio orientation and off you go! The length of the experience is up to you. It can be anywhere from thirty minutes to spending your whole afternoon on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Tickets Now Available For EMILY WAS HERE - An XR Storytelling Experience On The Brooklyn Bridge

Merging digital and physical, this experience fusing elements heard or seen on an app to locations you explore physically.


Experience a new type of storytelling as you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. 'Emily Was Here' XR stands for eXtended Reality. They merge digital and physical - fusing elements heard or seen on an app to locations you explore physically.

Step by step, Emily Warren Roebling is with you along the way, in an augmented reality visual and audio experience. She introduces you to a modern New York love story, shares personal historic moments of her life leading the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, and a series of poems including works by Maya Angelou, Pablo NerudaLangston HughesWalt WhitmanWilliam Shakespeare, and original poems and stories from celebrated New York artists - all while you watch the sunset over the New York City skyline.

In completing your experience, audiences receive an original NFT love lock from Emily.

'Emily Was Here' is the first groundbreaking immersive interactive experience, brought to you by NYCXR, a storytelling platform founded by Alba Albanese (Sleep No More, Serenade, Showtime: Billions) founder of BklynGrl and Phillip Olarte (Wherefore Art Thou, Juliet?) founder of ChalkNotes.

The journey is highlighted with an original score by acclaimed international pianist Toru Dodo with Trumpet player Wayne Tucker, and artwork by Alison Blake.

Written and performed by Alba Albanese, 'Emily Was Here' has assembled an incredible ensemble cast of New York theater, film and television actors including Rochelle Zimmerman (ABC: Station 19), Salvatore Inzerillo (NBC: New Amsterdam), as well as beloved jazz musician Akua Dixon, Alexander James Rodriguez (Netflix: Bee and Puppycat), jazz performer Andromeda Turre, Beatriz Cavalieri (Baggage Claimed), Bjorn DuPaty (Broadway: Thoughts of a Colored Man), Casey Webb (Hulu: Life & Beth), C.J. Lindsey (Netflix: True Story), Constantine Antoniou (Gotham), David Zayas Jr. (Dexter), Elizabeth Bays (Diabolical), theater actors Elizabeth Santos and Idalmis Garcia Rodriguez (Amazon Prime: Angela), Jaime Zevallos (Marvels: Cloak & Dagger), Jake Cannavale (Disney's The Mandalorian), Kathleen O'Neal (Theater: Romeo & Juliet), Leila Almas Rose (The Summoning), Michael Kaves (The Many Saints of Newark) Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Theater: Halfway Bitches Go To Hell), Nicole Amaral (Theater: Developing Artists), Onika Day (Netflix: Inventing Anna) and New York immersive performers Mallory Gracenin (Immersive Theater: Sleep No More), and Nick Atkinson (Immersive Theater: Sleep No More, Hulu: How I met your father).