Three pioneers in the field of projection design–Ron Chase, Richard Pilbrow, and Rudi Stern–will come together on one stage for a special panel discussion at the Projection Master Classes, to be held June 22-24 at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City.
The three designers–whose groundbreaking use of video and still projection in the theatre, opera, and concerts in the 60s and 70s helped pave the way for modern projection design and technology–will speak about their work in a session moderated by Projection Master Classes faculty chair Wendall Harrington. The session will be held on Thursday, June 23, from 11am-12:30pm.
Harrington says the idea for this special session came to her as she was calling to ask various projection designers of note to attend the event. "As I spoke to them to invite them, it became clear that the value of their observations was enormous, having, as it does an unparalleled breadth of observation," she explains. "Not only were they present when the art of projection was born, they are virtually the genetics. All of them busy, and still creating, they excitedly look forward to being in the same room with each other. This will be an exciting and joyful event."
Pilbrow, whose consulting firm Theatre Projects Consultants won an Entertainment Design EDDY Award in 2003, is one of the world's leading theatre design consultants and an internationally known author and stage lighting designer. He was the lighting designer of the Hal Prince hit revival of Show Boat on Broadway (Drama Desk Award, Outer Circle Critics Award–lighting). His most recent Broadway productions were Our Town; The Life, for which he received a Tony Award nomination; and the Roundabout Theatre production of Harold Pinter's Ashes to Ashes. But what many forget was his early work in projection design; his debut on Broadway was actually as a projection designer on Golden Boy in 1964. He’s also written extensively on the subject.
Chase, an artist, sculptor and filmmaker, began his work with projection and film for a production of the Washington Opera’s Turn Of The Screw with Richard Perlman in 1969. The following year, he began his 30-year collaboration with director Frank Corsaro with Delius’ Koanga for the Washington Opera, followed by innovations in multiple screen projection combined with films for Delius A Village Romeo And Juliet. Chase also collaborated with Richard Perlman for the world premiere of The Who’s Tommy at the Seattle Opera (with Bette Midler). He produced and directed two feature films associated with his work in opera: Lulu (1978) and Bruges-La-Morte (1977) (Critics Prize, Ghent Film Festival 1979). In 1993, Chase founded the SF Art and Film program for teenagers.
Stern started doing light projections in 1964 and worked on numerous collaborative projects including theatre (Joe Chaikin: Open Theater), Opera (Sarah Caldwell and Igor Stravinsky), concerts (The Doors, Peter Serkin, and Psychedelic Celebrations with Timothy Leary). Environments included "Vibrations" at the Architectural League. He co-founded Global Village Video in 1969, which was the first portable video production group and multiple channel theatre. Stern has received grants for experimental research including those from the Rockefeller Foundation, NEA, JDR III Fund, and NYSCA. He founded Let There Be Neon in 1972, the first experimental workshop for the creative development of neon as an artistic resource. He wrote three books on neon, the first being Let There be Neon published by Harry N. Abrams. Stern has performed a three-screen and 24-projector "Theater of Light" event at numerous venues since 1999.
The inaugural Projection Master Classes is part of the Entertainment Design Master Classes, which consists of the Broadway Lighting Master Classes (June 20-22), the Broadway Sound Master Classes (June 22-24), and the EDDY Awards. There is still time to register for the event; click here for more info.
To register for the Entertainment Design Master Classes, click here.