Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 47

Center and the deeply psychological
and emotional toll it would take on the
students.
In the fall, during the first load-in and
focus calls, the energy in the theater was
non-existent and many mistakes were
made by the student crew--mistakes the
students would not have made normally.
The reason why became immediately apparent one Sunday afternoon: They were
the only students in the building. I had
never seen the main hallways dark before
and there was almost a ghost-like quality
to the atmosphere, which weighed heavily on the students. Also, several of them
reported feeling " rusty " since they had
not actively engaged in any production
work since the middle of March.
Almost six months of inactivity, in addition to the pandemic fatigue, created
a deep well out of which we all had to
climb. Eventually the students rebounded
and adapted, and the faculty and staff are
proud of how they persevered throughout
the entire semester. Even though we are
not trained counselors, the faculty took
on the role of psychological cheerleading, constantly reminding the students:
" you're not alone. " They had lost the
ability to gather in Krannert Center, and
safely regaining that community so that
students could execute their art became
one of the most important missions during the fall semester.

Software Integration

In the lighting design and technology
program, the faculty saw the fall semester as an opportunity to embrace various
software programs that had not been
previously integrated into the classroom. These programs then were deployed in the fall productions due to the
needs of virtual theatre. For example,
while Capture pre-visualization software
has been used for many years, during
the fall semester we began an exploration of ETC's EOS 3.0 Augment3d and
Vectorworks Vision 2020 in two courses.
Augment3d was then used in the Tryon
Festival Theatre after a console software
upgrade overseen by Lisa Kidd.
At the beginning of 2020, some of the
lighting students had started building
3D models in Vectorworks for Krannert
Center's venues, including the Digital
Media Design Lab. The repertory design
for November Dance and Tryon Scenes
provided a wonderful opportunity to see

what the software could do in a production setting. In addition to integrating the
3D model of the theatre into the console,
our students also integrated the 3D positions of every fixture with two virtual
magic sheets and a series of macros.
For the scenic design program, José
Manuel Díaz-Soto integrated SketchUp
into the design process for November
Dance. During the Zoom production
meetings, the ability to fly around the set
and adjust the position of the various scenic items allowed the choreographers to
get a wonderful perspective, just as if the
production team was once again sitting
around the table looking at a physical
scenic model.
In the one-hour Lighting Seminar

class, Robert Perry, associate professor
of lighting design, and Murray decided
to go in a different direction and enhance the approach to the review of light
plots and resumes by using software for
virtual reviews. Students were encouraged not only to submit a PDF version
of their light plot, but also to post a copy
in the discussion forum of the online
Blackboard classroom, with each student
having their own comment thread for
use by both faculty and fellow students
in Lighting Seminar. This asynchronous
review proved to be immensely popular,
useful, and efficient. While this became
a successful aspect of Lighting Seminar,
the lighting faculty quickly realized that
lighting students not officially registered

November Dance
Jan Erkert worked to
enable her students to
dance for a live audience in the theater. " We
knew we had a chance
to be a role model for
dance across the country, so I think they felt
part of a communal effort to make sure our
art form would not only
survive during these
difficult times, but blossom, " she says. Through
November Dance in
the Tryon Festival
Theatre, this communal effort became a
reality. Faculty choreographers Sara Hook
Aliah Teclaw in herd tale, choreographed by Sarah Marks Mininsohn
and Endalyn Taylor and and Kayt MacMaster. Production team included: Concert Director: Jan
student
choreogra- Erkert, Scenic Designers: José Díaz-Soto and Jia Zengpeng, Properties
phers Kayt MacMaster, Master: Mark Kennedy, Costume Coordinator: Vivian Krishnan,
Lighting Designer: Gryffon Cloud, Sound Designer: Daniel Massey,
Sarah Marks Mininsohn, Media Designer: John Boesche, Stage Manager: Greg Mueller. | Photo
and Bevara Anderson by Natalie Fiol.
worked with the design
teams to create four unique performances in the same space. All dancers remained
masked and socially distanced on stage, and, for additional safety, once technical
rehearsals began, all participants were tested daily. After one week of technical rehearsals, each piece received two free evening performances from Nov. 5-8, 2020;
in addition to live-streaming, there was a small audience in the balcony seating area.
As before during performances of Why Did Desdemona Love the Moor?, this audience was comprised of masked and socially distanced members of the university
community who all had recent negative COVID-19 tests and had " Building Access
Granted " status. For those who were not able to attend the live performances, free
streamed versions of each work were accessible on Vimeo for two additional weeks.

SPRING 2021 | THEATRE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY

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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 - Cover1
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Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 1
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