Coordination and Implementation of Student Designed Material

Rock 'n' Roll

by Tom StoppardIllinois State University 2011

Director James Wagoner
Scenic Designer Steven P. House
Costume Designer KClaire Kemock
Lighting Designer J.M. Montecalvo
Sound Designer Aaron Paolucci
Assistant Media Designer Marly Wooster

In the spring of 2011, I taught a projection design class for the first time. As one of the primary projects for the course, we designed the projections for this production. Each student was assigned a transition, and was required to create and/or find content, after numerous discussions on concept, style, and implementation. Then Marly Wooster and I unified the design and took the project through fruition. A fascinating and rewarding process for all involved. The following depicts highlights from what transpired.

Tom Stoppard suggests two ideas about execution in his script that we tried to exploit and feed on. First, was to present dates, location, and information about the music during scene transitions. We took this idea a step further, creating imagery that would cycle through these steps: A - give a sense of the world surrounding the action, B - comment on the music as dictated in the script, and C - tell the audience time and location. The second, was Stoppard's use of a "smash cut". It seemed to us that the idea of a smash cut in and out of scenes, with no intermingling or crossfading into the scenes, meant that he wanted to keep the action and the surrounding world distinctly separate. We began holding true to this idea, but soon found that in a few key moments, some interaction proved to help with emotional impact.

Example of Projection Sequences