City Tech’s Department of Entertainment Technology’s Theatreworks, in collaboration with Clown Cloud Productions, presented Wing-Man, a multi-media one-man show created and performed by Mark Gindick at the College’s Voorhees Theatre in Downtown Brooklyn on March 26-29. Direction was by West Hyler with projection design by Jason Thompson, choreography by Danny Mefford, set design by Stephen Marsh, and animation design by Ryan Cushman. Sue Brandt, professor of production management at City Tech, was the lighting designer.
Clown Cloud Productions was selected as the company of City Tech’s residency program Theatreworks (www.theatreworkscitytech.org). The program is a unique opportunity for professional artistic organizations to work with undergraduate entertainment technology students to realize production values and work with technology unavailable to these artists in most other venues. Voorhees Theatre is fast becoming an exciting new performance space in Brooklyn for experimental collaborations between art and technology.
Wing-Man is a laugh-out-loud hilarious and surprisingly poignant “one-clown show” that explores our obsession with social media. In the tradition of Keaton, Chaplin, Irwin and Shiner, award-winning performer Mark Gindick wordlessly battles a series of unexpected 21st century obstacles.
Audiences knew they were in for something very different even before the show began since they were encouraged to keep their smart phones on. That’s because the stage was transformed into one large video screen that became part of the production itself and was interactive with both the performer and the audience. Not a word was spoken during the 90-minute theatrical comedy, instead it was Gindick’s comedic talents and interplay with the audience that brought this romantic romp through the internet to life.
It was also the use of technology that brought the production to life, and City Tech students worked behind the scenes gaining valuable experience. According to Brandt, “the crew was comprised of student technologists who study sound, video, lighting and scenic fabrication. Students worked directly with the show designers, which created a teaching environment that produced a conduit of new skills and the opportunity to install and learn new avenues of networking video, sound and lighting technologies.”
Incorporating live social media into the production was a unique opportunity for students to learn complex technical skills: “The show had an internal control system that presented social media content live on stage. Audience members were able to use Twitter and Instagram to post their reactions within the show’s video structure. Video was networked with lighting to create a fluid cueing system throughout the entire show,” said Brandt.
Theatreworks is currently accepting applications for its 2014-15 season. For more information, visit www.theatreworkscitytech.org/collaborate.