Stratford festival chooses Photon as its in-house media server solution.
Multiple productions under heavy rotation in a single theatre with very little turnover time and new teams to train on each occasion would have been a nightmare for most media technology providers. At VYV, we just thought of this as the perfect context to deploy our systems.
Stratford has been presenting Shakespearean theater since 1952 and has garnered international attention as one of the main events consecrated to this repertoire. One might wonder why would a festival oriented toward classical theater be interested in high-end video media servers featuring optical tracking, tridimensional mapping and live video effects.
While some stage directors favor technological components in their scenography even when they are mounting Shakespearean theater (see our featured article on Robert Lepage’s Coriolanus), the reason for this decision is twofold: besides a growing need for video projection support, the festival’s typical weekly schedule is built around the rotation of multiple shows in the same theater.
Since up to four shows share the same stage over the course of the week, technical teams have very limited set-up and take-down time, and the productions have to share the same video installation to cover very different needs.
Photon’s automatic calibration and real-time video projector alignment technology greatly reduces the set-up time and allows different projects to co-exist in the same space without having to sacrifice artistic expression. While a standard basic tracking visual computing rig was set up for all of the productions, each one could have its team move projectors around to satisfy their needs in terms of coverage and have them calibrated in no time.
Under these strenuous presentation circumstances, teams made up of new artistic collaborators and operators would have to rapidly learn the system without extensive training. Alexis Rivest, one of our own Photon specialists, gave a condensed training of two days that was sufficient for video crews to create, program and operate a show autonomously.
The powerful and versatile nodal FX system included in Photon also proved extremely useful since the needs in terms of compositing and image transformation from the different theater companies varied greatly. Photon’s wide FX palette successfully supported productions ranging from Robert Lepage’s version of Coriolanus to the Rocky Horror Show.
Whenever adaptability is the paramount criterion in an installation design, whether it is targeting high-end classical theatre or popular musicals, Photon’s performance is unequaled. While it can handle such complex situations as heavy show rotations on a single stage, Photon is disarmingly easy to learn and can be adopted rapidly by technical teams.
Book, Music and Lyrics
Director and Choreographer
By Arrangement With
Rocky Horror Company Limited
Cylla von Tiedemann
Dan Chameroy, George Krissa, Trevor Patt, Kimberly-Ann Truong, Jennifer Rider-Shaw and members of the company in The Rocky Horror Show
From the 27th of June to the 2nd of December 2018
Stratford Festival - Ontario, Canada