Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 28

Performer and collaborator Chloe Chow's final equipment set up for the production Beyond the Wound is a
Portal. | Courtesy of Chloe Chow.

Another angle of Chow's set up. | Courtesy of Chloe Chow

six-month creation process, the technical team was unsure about what support
they would need to provide and what kind
of software updates would be launched
between conception and execution. Still,
it was necessary to make some decisions
early in the process to ensure the show
would come together on time.
The first decision was to use Zoom.
TAPS technical director Daniel Cadigan
explains that the production committed
to Zoom, despite it not being a traditional
software for streaming or even broadcasting, for two reasons. First, Zoom

allowed performers to rehearse using the
same platform that would host the show,
and second, it allowed the audience to
interact with performers-specifically at
the end-instead of merely watching the
stream.
Cadigan and other technical staff
members then began trying to answer a
few key questions:
* Could performers and musicians sing
and play together? While performers
and musicians could sing and play together using Jacktrip (Stanford's low
latency, real-time music collaboration

28 | THEATRE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY | SPRING 2021

software), it proved too complicated.
Setting up performers' computers remotely would be overly taxing.
*
What equipment (video, sound, and
lighting) could they send to performers?
And, the question that was found to be
most important, what kind of Internet
connections do the performers have?
The equipment that was sent was individualized to each person's needs.
The technical team met with each collaborator and documented what they
already possessed such as computers,
phones, and tablets, and the specifications of each; accessories like monitors,
computer mice, keyboards, and types
of earbuds; Internet service providers
and whether or not ethernet would be
accessible for them; and any other useful technology they may already own
like cameras, greenscreens, or microphones. After the team had taken stock
of what the performers already had in
their homes, they could then begin compiling personalized lists of what to send
to each person.
*
How do you develop a show without
waiting until tech week to add all of
the tech? " Tech Week " became " Tech
Fridays " because the production could
not wait until tech week to begin introducing all of the new elements.
Throughout the rehearsal process, every Friday became a three-hour tech
rehearsal in which the performers began playing with and learning about the
technology. Although this could be confusing as things changed and developed
throughout the process given the newness of the undertaking, the production
would have been impossible without
these weekly rehearsals.
These questions took several months
to answer, and more questions and problems arose every day. A constant, at time
frustrating, but exciting stream of issues
appeared as the production pushed the
boundaries of digital theatre.
Zoom was not built to host a theatre
production. As the production process
went on and the platform gained popularity during the pandemic and added features, the technical team also discovered
numerous software programs that could
be paired with Zoom to have more control over the meeting and make the show
possible.
The staff learned about Zoom
OSC, free software from Liminal



Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021

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Contents
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - Cover1
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - Cover2
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 1
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - Contents
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Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - Cover3
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