The Department of Theatre received a Digital Media in the Performing Arts Innovation grant. The goal of the grant has been to harness the cutting-edge technology utilized in films, computer games, IMAX theatres, and theme parks and incorporate it into our theatrical endeavors. The grant has allowed our students to work with and master motion capture technology, stereoscopic 3D projections, computer generated imagery (CGI), and MIDI and High-Definition video.
Our production of Doctor Faustus in 2007 relied on motion capture, real-time CGI, and stereoscopic 3D projections to bring a timeless classic into the present and create truly magical characters. The motion capture cameras and motion capture performer were integrated into the scenery and were in full view of the audience. The motion capture performer, who “puppeted” many different characters throughout the show, was integrated into the very fabric of the production and played several prominent roles. You can view clips of this technology in action here. This innovative production was featured in American Theatre Magazine.
In our 2009 production of Mother Courage And Her Children, The University Theatre collaborated with WMU’s digital media artists once more in creating a revolutionary new way to interact with theatre. Game & Digital Media Designer Kevin Abbott created a video game based on the script that incorporated the design elements of WMU student and faculty designers. Cast members became models for their digital counterparts, creating an opportunity for the audience to become part of the world of the play. The game was available for audience members to play on-site prior to seeing the show.