Portfolio of Projection & Media Designs for Stage

This page contains excerpts from my recent theatrical works as projection designer, animator or media designer. Click on the image to view the video.

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Ernie

Written by Mitch Albom
Directed by Tony Caselli
Projection Design by Alison Dobbins
Set Design by Kirk Domer
Lighting Design by Dan Walker

Performed at the City Theatre of Detroit
April - August 2011
April - August 2012
September 2012 (Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI)
June - July 2013
March 2014 (Polk Theatre, Lakeland, FL)
July - August 2014

"Ernie," follows the life of Ernie Harwell, famous baseball announcer for the Detroit Tigers. The video design was used to interweave famous moments in baseball history with Ernie's life. Footage was donated by Major League Baseball. No photos or footage are currently available for posting. Show images can be seen in the following press articles.

Article in Live Design Magazine written by Davi Napoleon: A Whole New Ballgame for Ernie
Article in Encore Michigan written by John Quinn: Review: Ernie

Peter Pan

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Directed by Rob Roznowski
Projection Design by Alison Dobbins
Set Design by Kirk Domer
Lighting Design by Shannon Schweitzer
Costume Design by Daniel Hobbs
Flying by Hall and Associates

Performed at Michigan State University
(April 2014)

The classic Peter Pan Musical with a twist: the production was set in India. The design concept was to make the media appear to be "magic." The shadow puppets and media animations were designed to look the same by having the large projection imitate the small shadow puppet theatre on stage. Lighting gobos and media patterns were also the same to allow for a smooth integration.

 

U.P.

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Directed by Mark Colson
Video Design by Alison Dobbins
Set Design by Matthew Imhoff
Lighting Design by B. Emil Boulos
Costume Design by Karen Kangas-Preston
Michigan footage filmed on location and at Michigan Motion Pictures Studios, Pontiac, MI
Additional Footage filmed by Mark Colson

Performed at Michigan State University
(February 2013)

An original work written by Mark Colson and Peter Mervis, U.P. tells the story of a disillusioned man who sets out on a road trip searching for answers and ultimately finds himself in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The video design portrayed the character's 3,000 mile road trip and his inner turmoil. His distance from other characters was represented at times when he became trapped in the video and would peer out at the world.

Mother Courage and Her Children

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Directed by Mark Colson
Projection Design by Alison Dobbins
Set Design by Renee Surprenant
Lighting Design by Ryan Davies

Performed at Michigan State University
(February 2012)

In Brechtian fashion, the projections in this production commented on and illuded to the events in each scene. Actors spoke the scene heading lines while simple skeleton animations interpreted the meaning ala early Disney cartoons.

 

 

The Extraordinary Ordinary

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Directed by Scott Burkell
Projection Design & Creation by Alison Dobbins
Set Design by W. Douglas Blickle
Lighting Design by Lanny Potts

Performed at the Farmers Alley Theatre, Kalamazoo, MI
(September - October 2011)

The show follows the lives of six friends through one year. The video design for this show was used to connect multiple locations, times and events together. In the excerpt here the video illustrated the Thanksgiving dream of one of the main characters. The live actors interacted with the projections, mimicking movement and positions that had been filmed days before.

A single projector was used to project onto three tracking panels on the set.

The Wizard of Oz

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Directed by Jen Bender
Projection Design by Alison Dobbins
Costume Design by Karen Kangas-Preston

Performed at Michigan State University
(February 2011)

Jen Bender, visiting artist from Broadway, was brought to campus for this show on a grant from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. The media was used to represent how the various powers of Oz control their environment. The videos were created with students from the Department of Theatre, the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, Residential College of Arts & Humanities, College of Music and the College of Engineering.

The witch was the most technilogically advanced power in the world of Oz. She existed in both media and on stage. 3D graphics and special effects in this excerpt were created by Michael B. Daniels.

March Into Sunlight & Sunlit Fields

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Choreographed by Jin-Wen Yu
Projection Design by Alison Dobbins
Lighting Design by Claude Heintz

Performed at University of Wisconsin-Madison
(November 2010, March 2011)

This piece was inspired by They Marched Into Sunlight by David Maraniss. The goal of the choreography and the media was to prompt the viewer to think about issues of body, space and the unknown.  The media juxtaposed the difference in terrain from the safety of campus to the terrors of war: Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  The emphasis on the body in one section focused on the materialistic and stylish view of 1960’s sororities.  In the next section of the dance, the body is now a frail thing focused on survival, caught in a cargo net and dancing through the headlines of the war.  The piece ends with an abstract image of sunlight—the web that connects us all.  For some of the dancers marching into sunlight is to be released from the body, for others the sunlight symbolizes truth and a greater understanding of the world.  The fast pace of the dancers on stage is in stark contrast to Jin-Wen’s very slow progress down stage where he moved as if falling from a great height.

Rent

Directed by Scott Burkell
Projection Design by Alison Dobbins
Set Design by Kirk Domer
Costume Design by Kristina Miller
Lighting Design by Samantha Bostwick

Performed at Michigan State University
(April 2010)

The video provided both a means of connecting elements of this complex plot and a means of showing the audience Mark's interpretation of the events going on around him. Mark's opening monologue, New Year's Eve monologue and Valentine's Day monologue were all pre-recorded. The film also provided a way to introduce characters and story elements to the audience to help reinforce which characters and what relationships were present in the first act.

Filming took place in the TeleCom greenscreen studio, an apartment in Lansing and in New York City. Filming was completed by students in the College of Communications at Michigan State University.

Volube

Choreographed by Jin-Wen Yu
Projection Design & Creation by Alison Dobbins
Costume Design by Eric Frazen
Lighting Design by Matthew Reynolds

Performed at Michigan State University
Dancing in Our Time
(February 2010)

The dance, created by Jin-Wen Yu of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, explored the intersection of science and dance looking specifically at drug uptake in the human body. The dance also explored fluid motion and boundaries. The choreography was non-literal, therefore the projection design was also non-literal, using themes and motion rather than visual representation of distinct concepts. Work was projected using three projectors and modeled to cover the rigid legs of the theatre, back wall and floor.

Yucuninu

Produced & Directed by Alison Dobbins
Choreographed by Alicia Diaz
Music by Lila Downs

Performed at Kent State University
Excellence In Motion
(November 2009)

This work was played prior to the performance of "Yucuninu," a work choreographed by Alicia Diaz and set on her students at Kent State University.

All filming took place at historically significant sites in Kent Ohio. "Yucuninu" was a dance inspired by nature and the interplay between humans and the environment. This prologue was created to bring that environment to the audience. No greenscreening was used on this project. All background and time manipulation was created in post-production.

 

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