Making it with Multimedia looks at latest techniques for the stage

York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts will present a free, one-day symposium on Saturday, Jan.15, exploring multimedia for live performance through the lens of design and technology.

The Making it with Multimedia symposium will address the latest developments in projection techniques for the stage through talks, hands-on demonstrations and a panel discussion with arts and industry professionals. Conceived and produced by theatre Professor James McKernan, this event takes place from 10am to 9pm in the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre on York’s Keele campus.

Left: James McKernan

The symposium will include an overview of new projection technologies and practices in the field, and consider the impact of these technologies on the nature of the creative process and the evolving roles of artistic and technical personnel. Established and aspiring theatre professionals are invited to attend.

Making it with Multimedia kicks off at 10am with Video 101, a two-hour talk focusing on the language and technology commonly used in stage projection for live performance. Presenter Simon Clemo, owner of Tacit Media, is a lighting and video designer and consultant whose clients include the Shaw Festival, Mirvish Productions, Toronto’s Luminato Festival and Nuit Blanche.

Creators and distributors of some of the leading projection software and hardware on the market today will showcase their products starting at 2pm. Guided demos include SFX, QLab, MBox, Catalyst, COOLUX, Watchout, Green Hippo and Isadora. Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on with the state-of-the-art equipment and see these powerful media control solutions in action.

The final presentation of the day is a panel discussion with eminent projection and media server designers, technologists and theatre directors on the contemporary use of projection in theatre. Moderated by Clemo, the session starts at 7pm and concludes with an audience Q&A.

Panellists include:

  • Quebec City-based projection designer and producer Jacques Collin, longtime designer for Robert Lepage’s company, Ex Machina,
  • Roger Parent, president of the Montreal-based interactive environment design firm Réalisations,
  • Set and costume designer Leslie Frankish,
  • Artistic director Jacquie Thomas and key artistic associate Michael Spence of Toronto’s Theatre Gargantua ,
  • Peter Ireland, media technologist with the global entertainment and event design firm PRG.

Making it with Multimedia is presented by York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in partnership with CITT/ICTS Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology, PRG Production Resource Group and Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning.

Previous presentations in the Faculty of Fine Arts’ sustainable stage technology series organized by McKernan include Get the LED Out, a symposium on LED lighting for the stage held at York in January 2010 and reprised at the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology’s 20th annual conference in Halifax last summer, and Getting Out of the Fog, on atmospheric effects for the stage, held at York in April 2010. Resource material from both events can be found on McKernan’s Theatre Artisan Green Skills website.

Coming up next is Staging Sustainability, an international conference that will bring together artists, scholars, critics, producers, designers and policy-makers to consider issues and challenges associated with ecologically sustainable arts practice and performance. The conference takes place April 20 to 22 in the Fine Arts complex at York University.

To register, visit the Making it with Multimedia website.