Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 46

our audiences and focused on adapting
training and processes to filming and
streaming productions, including live
streams. Early on, we realized the lighting design students would need to be
quickly trained regarding lighting for the
camera. Guest artists were brought in
to share their experience in lighting for
the camera during a wide variety of live
events. Additional brainstorming sessions included discussions of moving to
outdoor spaces and filming in front of the
green screen in Krannert Center's Digital
Media Design Lab (which also contains a
full Light Lab).
Over the summer, our most important
collective decision was to commit to finding ways to safely engage in in-person activities. Our hopes that we would be able
to gather and perform were buoyed, as
the summer progressed, by news of the
SHIELD testing initiative and how the
university's expansive resources, even
locations like the veterinary labs, were
being used to research and develop a
rapid-testing protocol. This knowledge
provided the foundation for us to move
forward, and, more importantly, provided a glimmer of hope. Jan Erkert, head
of dance, described the viewpoint of the
choreographers and dancers preparing
for November Dance: " The uncertainty
of not knowing if the show would actually
go on made them realize that they had to
dance every moment as if it was the last
dance. "
As faculty and staff discussed the fall
season and gained more clarity about the
challenges facing productions, they decided to create and install a repertory design
for scenery, lighting, audio, and media in
the Tryon Festival Theatre, which would
remain in place for the entire academic
year. These repertory elements, with
changeovers as needed, would accommodate five productions: November Dance,
Tryon Scenes (excerpts from opera and

Greer Durham, junior acting major, participates in shadow exploration, a collaboration between Rob Perry's
Advanced Lighting Design class and Genesee Spridco's Acting I class, while Yingman Tang, first year graduate
lighting student, Zooms in from China to cue the lighting on the ETCnomad console. | Photo by Zack Saunders.

musicals), March Dance, Benjamin
Britten's Turn of the Screw, and Lyric
Theatre's Senior Showcase. These decisions would provide design opportunities
but would also limit workflow and reduce
what the socially distanced shops were
asked to produce.
José Manuel Díaz-Soto, teaching assistant professor of scenic design, and
Zengpeng Jia, a third-year graduate scenic design student, were co-designers of
the repertory scenic design. Hard grey
legs and borders were installed as masking and projection surfaces. Two of the
legs were on tracks so that they could
change positions, even actively during
a performance. Upstage soft goods included a black scrim and rear projection
screen, which also served as the cyc. A
mid-stage string drop was added as an

alternative resource for the production
teams. Movable platforms, step units,
and ramp units were also built to allow
different stage configurations to occur.
For the directors and choreographers,
these stage configurations would allow
for social distancing and create opportunities for interesting movement.
Gill Frame and Megan Coffel, thirdyear graduate lighting design students,
were selected as the co-designers of the
repertory light plot since they both lost a
design assignment due to the pandemic.
Working quickly at the end of August
and beginning of September, Frame and
Coffel created a very flexible design of
repertory systems utilizing the full inventory of incandescent and LED fixtures,
including an array of High End Systems
SolaSpot 2000 and Martin MAC Aura
moving lights.

Emotional Toll
" In the summer my key hope was that we would be able to find a
way to make some kind of live theatre that felt authentic and captured some aspect of the liveness that makes theatre work unique.
At the same time, I wanted to give students opportunities to see
the year's work not only as an exercise in working within limits, but
also as an opportunity to be part of the discovery project of working
within totally new contexts. " -Dr. Gabriel Solis, Head, Department of
Theatre

46 | THEATRE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY | SPRING 2021

Upon returning to campus in August of
2020, the faculty and staff could see how
the conditions of the pandemic were taking a heavy toll on the students. Layers
of artistic energy normally provide the
heartbeat of Krannert Center as musicians, singers, actors, dancers, designers,
and technicians created a vibrant world
within its walls. We all underestimated
the loss of this " heartbeat " of Krannert



Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021

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Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 1
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Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - Cover3
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