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What's New > Playground Studios and Dual Audio Services present the “Creating with Media Workshop Series”

Playground Studios and Dual Audio Services present the “Creating with Media Workshop Series”

posted on 6:29 AM, May 30, 2013

Playground Studios and Dual Audio Services presents a useful set of professional development classes that engage theatre artists from various disciplines in an exploration of integrated media design, focusing upon the use of projections, live cameras, animation, motion graphics and other multimedia technologies in storytelling. These sessions directly address the changing ecology of our theatre practice and investigate new territories, and offer participants the opportunity to interact with state of the art technology while providing a window into new modes of creation and collaboration.

The Creating with Media Workshop Series emerges from a desire to share resources and expertise with artists in our community curious to learn more about projection design. Click here to download flyer.

These workshops are generously supported by The Ontario Arts Council and the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT).

REGISTRATION INFO: Registration and pre-payment required.
Call DAS at 416 502-0017 or email   to register.

20% Discount for current members of CAEA, CITT, IATSE & ADC
10% Discount when taking multiple classes

Audio and Video 101

Learn the basic basics! Cables, connectors, hardware, software will all be covered. Hands on learning & lots of info! Welcoming artists from a variety of theatre backgrounds (i.e. playwrights, directors, designers, technicians, producers, etc.), this workshop will introduce participants to the various audio and video technologies available for the performing arts. This class will discuss the role of the projection designer and offer helpful tips on how to budget for content creation and the specific equipment needed to integrate visual media into your productions.

Getting your hands on some state-of-the-art gear, participants will explore some of the technologies available both for use as a tool in the re-imagining of texts and for devising new projects. We will address the question of when to bring projections into your process, and how to develop a shared vocabulary amongst creators. This introductory session will promote a greater understanding and appreciation of our art form. 

This is a one day workshop. 

DATE: Sunday May 26, 2013 or Monday May 27, 2013
HOUR: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
FEE: $50.00
LOCATION: Theatre Centre Pop Up, 1095 Queen Street East

Qlab2 for Audio and Video: The Basics

This workshop is for anyone interested in knowing more about how QLab works. We will walk the participants through system set up, basic content creation requirements, and basic programming, as well as MIDI control (which allows the user to control other devices like a lighting board). Using examples from the instructors own productions we will demonstrate the various ways QLab can be used for both audio and video designs.

Participants are encouraged to bring a Mac laptop with QLab installed. The free version will suffice for the workshop, but if participants wish to save their work they should purchase a $7 rental liscense. For those who wish, we also encourage bringing a second monitor for the video portion of the class. A portion of the class will include a brief overview of Qlab 3 and the advancements and changes in the new software.

This is a one day workshop.

DATE: Saturday June 8, or Monday June 10, 2013
HOUR: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
FEE: $50.00
LOCATION: Theatre Centre Pop Up, 1095 Queen Street East

Sound Designer's Tool Kit

This session will unpack the everyday challenges of modern sound. From system setup (matrixing, processing, networking) to the demands of venue infrastructure and live operation (system selection, power matching, tuning, basic theory) participants will walk away with hands on experience and a playbook for the real world.

This is a one day workshop.

DATE: Sunday June 9, 2013
HOUR: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
FEE: $50.00
LOCATION: Theatre Centre Pop Up, 1095 Queen Street East

Projection Design for the Playwright, Director, Dramaturg... and you!

By developing a working knowledge of the technologies available for media design, playwrights will be better able to articulate and describe their vision, and better integrate Projection/Video design into their productions. With room to troubleshoot specific concerns and workshop new material, this workshop provides useful tactics for writing projection designs into your script, with an emphasis on how to communicate your ideas. The goal of the workshop is to help theatre creators develop a perspective on Projection Design, the nuts and bolts of how it is done, what is possible, what is impossible, and what is in-between. Combining discussion, demonstration, and active participation, the workshop will help develop a common language between Designers, Directors, Playwrights, and other theatre makers.

We will delve into specific language and terminology, while also sharing methods for devising new works and how bring technology into this process. Participants are expected to bring specific examples from their writing and performance work with them to this hands-on session. We will also discuss the concept of “Dramaturgy of Media and Digital Design” while exploring projection as lighting, the impact of lighting on projection and vice versa. During the workshop, participants will use some of the various projection design tools in hands-on exercises, that will culminate in a small informal presentation.

This is a TWO day workshop with very limited class size

DATES: Saturday June 29 & Sunday June 30, 2013
HOUR: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
FEE: $100.00
LOCATION: Theatre Centre Pop Up, 1095 Queen Street East

The Projection Designer’s Tool Kit: A Hands-On Media Laboratory

This hands-on workshop functions as a technical manual for projection designers and theatre artists alike, offering practical insight into the software and technologies used to create and deliver media for the stage. Through a brief demonstration Photoshop and After Effects, The Projection Designer’s Tool Kit will explore the art of content creation before delving into a demonstration of software packages like Qlab By Figure 53, WATCHOUT by Dataton, Isadora by Troika Tronix, and full media server program Pandoras Box by Coolux. We will discuss variations in projectors LCD versus DLP, and other methods for bringing image to the stage via LED Screens and other Television-style display technologies. Participants will be given a task to create a short sequence and to explore each one of our media servers in action, demonstrating the capabilities and drawbacks of each. Both curious beginners and those with a strong technical background are encouraged to attend.

Class size will be limited to allow for maximum one-on-one participation.

DATE: Monday July 8, 2013 
HOUR: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
FEE: $100.00
LOCATION: Cahoots Theatre Workshop - 388 Queen Street East


Formed in 2010 husband and wife design team Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson, Playground Studios, is a proudly Toronto based design firm dedicated to creating beautiful productions for the entertainment industry. Called a “dynamic powerhouse duo” by NOW Magazine, their interactive installation The ToyBox was awarded the 2011 CITT Award for Technical Merit, and their newest installation Night Light Travels saw 1400 participants at 2011’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. They have given Master Classes in Projection Design to a wide rage of theatre artists across the country at venues as varied as Canadian Stage, National Theatre School of Canada, and Playwrights Workshop Montreal.  
As Playground Studios they also co- produced the aerial dance piece Malaria Lullaby. This year they will be further developing The Memory Play with actor/director/ musician Steven McCarthy (Elastocitizens & the film Picture Day), creating the production design for Same Same But Different by and starring Anita Majumdar, developing a couple of secret projects (one about Happiness!), and creating the projections for the Ross Petty pantomime. Their projection work is also featured in the about-to-be-released award winning feature film Picture Day.
Both Beth and Ben have been designing for the stage for many years (Beth since she was 16!), and have helped create many shows, including some of Canadian theatre’s most memorable productions like Bigger Than Jesus and MacHomer. Other highlights of their work include the 2012 production of Ragtime at the Shaw Festival, Dark Star Requiem, The Eco Show, The Highest Step in the World, Spin, Yichud (Seclusion) where Beth transformed TPM into a synagogue, and The Backyadigans. Their latest production, their son Aaron, was born in 2012 and is already receiving rave reviews. They have won numerous awards including a Dora Award, Ben winning the 2010 Pauline McGibbon Award, and having  been nominated for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre twice.
Facebook: Playground Studios
Twitter: @the_play_ground
Dual Audio is a full services audio-visual company committed to industry leadership through exceptional customer care, industry advancement and community engagement. As a provider of high quality equipment and comprehensive services packages, we work with you and your team to identify appropriate technical solutions.  With a focus on live and theatrical based events, our staff brings passion and expertise to the table. Throughout any consultation, installation, load in, tour or training engagement we aim to provide valuable experiences that support and encourage you in all of your audio-visual adventures.
Emily Porter is a sound designer and engineer based in Toronto. Since obtaining a BA from the University of Toronto she has worked on theatrical projects across Canada and the US.
Select Design credits include The Amorous Adventures of Anatol, The Real World (Tarragon Theatre); The Arsonists (Canadian Stage); Bloodless (Theatre20); Love From Afar (Canadian Opera Company); St. Carmen of the Main (NAC/Canadian Stage); The Admirable Crichton (Shaw Festival); Kindertransport, The Sisters Rosensweig (Harold Green Jewish Theatre).
Select Associate Design credits include The Toxic Avenger (DanCap Productions); Peter Pan, Beauty & the Beast (Ross Petty Productions); ‘Art’, Story of My Life, Cookin’ at the Cookery (Canadian Stage); My Fair Lady, Follies in Concert, Wonderful Town, Hotel Peccadillo, Mack & Mabel (Shaw Festival).
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