Tell us about your history working for CATCO.
“My relationship with CATCO began as an audience member! In 2013, I was fortunate to receive the CATCO and Greater Columbus Arts Council Playwriting Fellowship. Since then, CATCO has produced two of my plays in their family seasons including Cowgirls Don’t Ride Zebras and The Throne of Oz. I also have directed shows during the family season, designed projections, edited audio and video, and taught workshops as an artist educator!”
What does a Digital Designer do?
“During a typical theatrical production, a digital designer creates any visuals, such as projections or videos, that are needed for the show. In this case, everything in A Columbus Christmas Carol is video! Even though some of my work has been what a digital designer would typically do, most of my work has been planning how actors in separate locations could seem like they were performing together. It was a fun challenge! I worked very closely with our director, Leda Hoffmann, to figure out what the show would look like and, most importantly, feel like. We definitely wanted this production to feel like a piece of theatre rather than a film.”
What tools do you use to design digital plays?
“In this production, I used Keynote (like PowerPoint) to plan what audiences would see on their screens and how the characters would relate with one another. We used Zoom for rehearsals. I used my iPhone to capture video and edited photos with Adobe Photoshop. For my editing work, I’ve been using Final Cut Pro X to bring all of the performances together and create the final play that audiences will see!”
Give us a sneak peek of what to expect with your digital designs in A Columbus Christmas Carol.
“Audiences can expect to be surprised and delighted by the digital designs. You will see the actors with actual props, in real places, and interacting with each other. We tried to make a practical theatrical choice about how to make the magic happen, rather than relying on green screens or special effects. We also did long takes, so the audiences would feel like they were watching a play.
It certainly won’t feel like a Zoom meeting! There won’t be characters with their names on the screen or anything like that. Our goal has been that the digital design would disappear and audiences would forget they’re watching a screen. There have been magic moments that have happened when it crackles and feels like being in the theatre. “
What is something you think everyone should know about A Columbus Christmas Carol?
“In a holiday season when our traditions or family get togethers may be digital or different, this production of A Columbus Christmas Carol is a joyful reminder that we can find peace and still connect with loved ones, even from far away.”