Sometimes theater can be wildly optimistic and happy, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes you need a punch in the throat to really enjoy high-end art and the play Bug will do just that. Written by award-winning playwright Tracy Letts, Bug is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are adult themes that are in the play so it may not be suitable for children under 18.
From Vintage Films to National Awards: Meet the Director Behind Theatre’s New Cutting Edge Technology
If you’re ever in Henry Ford College’s Virtual Theatricality Lab, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a lot of intricate technology that costs much more than the average college education. Above is an aluminum cage-like contraption with attached lighting fixtures. Huge green screens cover the wall and expensive looking projectors are on the racks. I try not to break anything as I look around.
There is a certain magic churning behind the scenes at HFC. It lies in the last door on the right in the northern corner of the Fine Arts Building. You have to go past the Sisson art gallery and the Pewabic pottery drinking fountain to find it. This is the VTL, or The Virtual Theatricality Lab, which offers students a niche for technology to excel and create a product that audiences will always remember. All of this has been made possible by Dr. George Popovich, the head of the program, and Alan Contino, a motion capture technician.
The theater program at Henry Ford College put on a live production of the classic film, A Christmas Story, which ended its run this past weekend. The play was adapted from from Philip Grecian’s stage adaptation of the widely known movie written by Jean Shephard, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark. The stage production is directed Judith Fletcher-Barber who works closely with Dr. George Popovich and many others in HFC’s theater program to make it unique to HFC. The student cast consisted primarily of current HFC students and others who have worked in various productions at the college before.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Henry Ford College offers three dramas and a comedy for its annual student-directed One Act Festival, through June 28 at the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center.
Technical theater director Gerry Dzuiblinski said this year’s festival features four one-act plays, each about 30 minutes long, by established authors, that most audiences have not seen performed on stage.
“We’ve got a wonderful company of actors, technicians and directors who are working together to make sure not only their show works well, but that the entire ensemble and festival does,” Dzuiblinski said.
The One Act Festival at Henry Ford College is held every year by the Theatre Department. This year it will commence be held from June 18 until June 28. A collection of short plays, these performances are typically directed by students. This year, HFC Theatre majors Joshua Neilson, Reba Neely, Christian Plonka and Anita Holsey Banks directed the shows.
Vicon’s motion-capture technology was used to create a dancing dinosaur for the live-action show Dinosaurus! at Henry Ford College's Virtual Theatricality Lab (VTL). The family show runs through November 23.
Theater technology is taking its next step at Henry Ford College.
This fall, HFCCs groundbreaking, award-winning Virtual Theatricality Lab will stage Dinosaurus!, a children’s play about two oil engineers who find a surviving colony of dinosaurs. The play features a 20-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex, created by projectors, as well as a host of other images projected onto the stage, with which live actors interact.