3/5/2013 – A recent security incident at Evernote allowed attackers... Read More
Theater production uses new technology
April 15, 2011 - A new dimension will be brought to UA theatre in the production “The Realm” playing April 19-22 in Morgan Auditorium. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Wednesday, and 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Student tickets are $15 and general admission is $20.
“The Realm,” written by senior theatre major David Bolus, commences with detective Ferret taking the job to protect a beautiful dancer named Gia from her mob boss husband Sal Capriatti.
Gia works at a shady nightclub called “The Realm,” which is run by her husband. While working his case, Ferret unknowingly becomes surrounded by the darkness of the city and people involved in the murder mystery.
The production will be using a new element, stereoscopic 3-D technology, to provide a virtual environment for live performers in real time.
“’The Realm’ is the first show in history to use stereoscopic 3-D,” said John Virciglio, creator, producer and director of the show. “It creates a more immersive experience for the audience members and a more cinematic approach to live theater and dance.”
This new element allows for more animation to be involved with the production. For example, stereoscopic technology can take a two-dimensional tree and through visual effects, make the tree’s leaves appear to be flowing with the wind.
“It’s been rewarding to see how the technology works and have a concept on paper that actually comes to fruition,” Virciglio said. “Everyone that I have collaborated with on this project has been very supportive.”
Virciglio has wanted to incorporate stereoscopic technology since 2005, but at the time the technology was not as advanced or readily available. With technology’s progression, he pitched the idea in 2008 and has been working on it since then.
“This show is about pushing limits and is a great learning experience for all the students involved. You can’t put a price on that,” Virciglio said.
The production has been a collaborative effort among the theater, dance, art and telecommunication departments, as well as the college of engineering. Additionally, Virciglio recruited the renowned choreographers Eddie Garcia, Dave Scott and Chris Judd, comic artist Greg Horn and visual effects experts Michael Van Himbergin, Michael MacKay and Eric Wilson to work with the cast and crew for the production.
“We were unable to have a technical crew, so all the performers do the technical work such as opening the curtains, starting the music and bringing out props,” said Shannon Lindamood, a senior majoring in dance. “It’s a very humbling experience, and until now I didn’t understand how valuable the crew is.”
Eddie Garcia, a choreographer for celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Michael Jackson, worked with the dancers for “The Realm.”
“I like to try something new and unique,” he said. “I have been fortunate to work with Michael Jackson. He always wanted to try something new and do something that had never been done before. I just love that.”
Garcia worked with the dancers for a week consisting of two four-hour rehearsals and plans to come back early before the opening. He incorporated styles such as Bollywood, jazz and flapper into the dance routines.
“It’s not only teaching the steps,” Garcia said. “I give a mood and style, a feel of the time period of the production.”
He believes the stereoscopic technology gives the dancers a chance to learn new material and incorporate theatrics, allowing them to be consistent with trends in the dance world.
Garcia has worked with other universities as well and said, “I am a gypsy; whenever I find something interesting and that has the spirit of production, I go.”
“[Garcia] was not just a choreographer, he was a teacher to us,” Lindamood said. “He contributed to a lot of the stylistic elements. I am thankful that I had this opportunity in college to work with someone from the professional field.”
Additionally, “The Realm” will be the first show to use a free iPhone app playbill for the audience. The app will allow users to view show times, purchase tickets and browse videos, photos, artwork and information about the plot and its characters.
“We are able to have interaction with our guests and provide them a more user-friendly experience,” Virciglio said.
Traditional playbills will also be offered to the audience, but the app is highly encouraged for those with iPhones.
“This is a stepping stone of possibility to see what is out there,” Virciglio said. “We are laying the groundwork with this production and I definitely see a future in this type of work.”
Source: The Crimson White