About Chris Van Patten

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Media Server rock!

Day 2 in Cincinnati is quite a long day but it is exciting. First section section that I attend at 8:00 a.m is Magic Sheet aren’t magic, presenter share their way of doing magic and how it work in different type of production and how it help to speed up the technical process. Next we went to the keynote address in a very nice hall, the speech by Lynn Meyers, artistic director of the Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati who has an inspiring characteristic and the story of her trying to get thought all of the difficulties was so amazing and people are so committed. Later we went to the Play house, the tour over the back stage really show how passionate these people are.. They create really realistic and detail set since they know the fact that the acting space is only a couple feet away from the audience. Also they manged to work their way in such a compacted space and 8 voms for entrancing and exits.

After a little rest, Chris and me went to the Media server section which started at 6pm. At first I was planning join part of the meida server and go to the translucent drop section which start at 7:30 later, sicne the description of the media server is  “It’s not your Momma’s slide projector! Dealing with projections and media servers in productions.” this doesn’t give enough explanation, and take away the interest from me. However, after the presenter Loren Barton giving out more and more information about what media server is and exapmle of works, also how much you could achieve with it and demonstration of latest software creating all the effects me and many people in that section are amazing by the possibilty. Example of work such as the opening event of Summer Olmpic in Beijing, China 2008, Microsoft Xbox/E3 event projection in 2008, HP connect show and Samson and Delila as backdrop changes. People are so active asking question about it because it is developing so fast in this 2 year and so new that it is still in researhing process in a lot of places. Attendees are wondering  how they can be able to get this happen in the own place with this usering friendly software and breath taking effect. I am looking forward to see more about projection from the booth they have in the Stage Expo tomorrow.

“…in the moment…”

TRANSPARENT. CREATIVE. EMERGING. These are the words which will be the basis of the to be named student PQ exhibit. Based on today’s meetings, the idea of design AS performance will be further examined. This process will display how American theatrical design students interpret and instinctually respond to a piece of text. Exhibit spectators will be able to view and potentially interact with designers while they are engaged in the live design/response process. Things for us to further explore and discuss are:

  • What cleanses?
  • What is transparent?
  • What do we use to create?

All of which will relate to idea of going/being green…

Day 2-Sessions sessions sessions

Hello all,

          So today was the first day of sessions at the conference and very quickly proved that attending the USITT Conference would be more valuable than I had imagined.  The day began with a very early start after a late night of blogging; we first went to register and sign up for a tour of the Cincinnati Playhouse.  Then we went to the workshop entitled magic sheets aren’t magic, which ended up being a very interesting and useful workshop.  There were four lighting designers each of whom spoke about their different methods of organizing magic sheets, all of which contained the same method of it needs to be concise and easy to use, however they all were significantly different.  One of the designers had an idea of using one stage ground plan to have all of the magic sheet info on it, compared to the other method of putting many small layouts on a sheet of paper.  One of the coolest parts however was seeing the new software called Virtual Magic Sheet, which connects the magic sheet to the lighting board to show you exactly what is on in relation to your systems.

            After this session we attended the key note conference address, which consisted of general housekeeping things, awards, and a speaker who was very interesting especially for Buffalo stage designers as it was directed at theatre as city revival.  Lynne Myers was the speaker and she is the artistic director for the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, a position she was hired to only do for one season to close the theatre; however, as a firm believer in the theatre’s potential she built it back up and it is now a profitable and well respected theatre in Cincinnati.

            The next part of our day was a bus trip up to the Cincinnati Playhouse where we got a tour of one of the first LORT B theatres, which proved very interesting and valuable as we don’t usually get to see how this level of producing theatre operates.  We saw some cool new ways to work within a limited space and make it still work within your needs.  For example their trap space which uses cable lifts as a primary source of scenery movement was very interesting, especially because they had built all of the lifts entirely by themselves.  Other valuable parts of this tour include seeing their shop which was filled with more tools and supplies than we could ever imagine at the University.  The experience of talking to these professionals and having them show us around their LORT B space was incredible and provided a great window into the world of regionally produced theatre at a level we no longer have in Buffalo.

            The day’s sessions ended with Katie Katie and I going to Knots Knots Knots were it was not only a very fun hands on session, but very useful.  I learned new knots and new techniques for those I already knew and even the correct applications for all of the different knots we had learned.

            So that was the first day of sessions here, it was a lot of fun and worth so much more than you could imagine in all the new things you learn and great minds in the field I have met.  Tomorrow is the opening of the expo floor which will be a great point for me to begin my specific research on the new lighting instruments and lighting control methods.  So until then…


No Wing Space?!

Today I was on the tour for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the park. Please see Jane’s blog for photos! What is amazing about this theater, is their uncanny ability to turn a challenge of the space, the example being the Mark theater having NO wing space, and turn it into an artistic advantage. Their extensive use of lifts in order to move scenery resulted in the creation and design of dozens of lift units, trap doors, and software creation. The software they created to control the lifts was brilliant. It could control up to 8 lifts and up to 24 on/off switches, and all cue based. It’s quite similar to how light cues are set in a board. On top of that, the lift was QUIET!

Tomorrow I plan on hitting the Expo floor early, and hopefully make some discoveries about 3-D CAD drafting. Additionally, the class on plagiarism is not until Saturday morning.

It’s all about context.

Lynn Meyers, artistic director of the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, started off the conference with a keynote address that was timely and relevant and wonderful, and discussed the role her theatre played and continues to play in the community of Cincinnati, specifically the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.  While being light-hearted and genuine, Lynn simultaneously managed to drive home the point that with perserverence, optimism, and dedication, a theatre can help to transform “the worst block in three states” into a hip, lively neighborhood.

The impact of theatre on a community is one of my research topics here at the conference, and Lynn did a great job of conveying what it is like to be on the front lines of that often long and heart-breaking process.  She recounted having to board up the windows and vacate the building on police orders during the civil unrest that took place eight years ago, as well as a surreal phone call with the police concerning a dead man next to her car.  But the pride and satisfaction in her voice were unmistakable as she reported record-breaking sales figures for the last season at the ETC, and to be able to hear a first hand account of someone who used theatre as a tool to start the revitalization of a community was, in my opinion, the perfect start to the conference.

However, this account of one theatre’s struggle to survive against the odds was meant to be an encouragement for all theatre designers, technichians, go-ers, and lovers in general during times of ecenomic uncertainty for an industry many naysayers claim will be the first to suffer from a nationwide purse pinch.  And really, what Lynn was trying to say is, it’s all about context; whether you are the artistic director of a theatre on the block with the most crime for miles and miles, or a university theatre struggling with a tightened budget, everyone is in the same boat, and we are all using theatre to help steer us in the right direction.

“taking us away from theatre as we know it…”

“Taking us away from theatre as we know it,” was the way Susan Tsu described the direction of the 2011 USA-USITT Prague Quadrennial National  Exhibition.  In our preliminary exhibit meeting, much time was spent meeting and greeting with departmental curation heads.  The committee at large would like to display the depth of American theatre and not necessarilly what spectators see on the surface.  We want to show the inventions of new approaches that strike emotions amidst audiences…


On The Road

On The Road

Having slept through the majority of our journey, the trip for me was almost instantaneous.  The air of excitement has me clamoring for the chance to meet new professionals and make new discoveries.  My primary goals for this week are to discover methods for three dimensional CAD drafting and to learn more about digital plagiarism.

USITT-Day1-Go for goal

Hi, I am Jane. After 7 hours drive, we are finial in Cincinnati. Today, I have organized my portfolio and preparing myself for the conference. There is one section that I am looking forward to go to that is painting translucent drops. From the description provided that section will talk about technique of painting trnslutcent drop and showing light onto it, with all I have prepared I hope to have conversation about what I was trying to achieve for my latest scenic design project about projecting images into fabric to create a desire effect and the world of Woyzeck. As projection is something get into the spotlight in the theatre technology lately, I wanted to explore more aspect of it and know the newest and best equitment for exciting theatrical effect that wait to be seen.

Blog post made possible by Chris’ internet know-how!

Hi there! This is Kathryn reporting from the USITT Conference in Cincinnati. Over the next three days, I will be blogging about everything new and revolutionary—new forms of theatre, the technologies they use, and the cities that love them. How can we make theatre in Buffalo newer and more exciting? What have people in other arts communities in the country done to expand their borders? That’s what I’m out to discover this week as we attend classes, ogle exhibits, and rub shoulders with the designers and techies who are reinventing theatre in America. Check back again tomorrow to see what adventures the first day of the conference brings the UB tech/design students!

Cincinnati-Day 1…The Arrival

Hello everyone,

My name is Andy Fenster and I’m attending this conference as a member of the seven part team formed by the UB Department of Theatre and Dance.  My research focus on this trip is to look at the newest and most advanced lighting technologies and lighting design concepts.  I plan on looking into new fixtures such as LED and intelligent lighting as well as the new forms of lighting control and communication E-Net and EDMX.  I have worked with and seen some of these technologies used in major touring shows, and hope to find an affordable way to implement them into our theatre spaces at the University at Buffalo. 

We left Buffalo this morning around eleven and seven hours later found ourselves in downtown Cincinnati surrounded by other theatre technicians and designers.  With the exception of Collin, the conference does not start for us until tomorrow morning so we have spent the night reading schedules and preparing for the sessions we will be attending.  I have also looked into the booths that will be present at the stage expo and found the ones that showcase new lighting technologies.  Tomorrow I will be attending a tour of the Cincinnati playhouse, which will offer a great perspective of how professional theatres operate.  I will be back to post tomorrow on the first day of sessions.

Until then,