How I Learned To Drive Arthur Dirks
Portfolio Index

How I Learned To Drive

By Paula Vogel

Produced: Spring, 2008
Bridgewater State College Theater
Director: Suzanne Ramczyk
Scenery, Lighting, Projections: Arthur Dirks
Facility: Bridgewater Campus Center Auditorium

The director expanded the production to include as many students as possible by adding an ensemble that interjected 60s pop songs throughout the show. In early discussions she emphasized 60s pop culture and automotive themes, and she wanted to do the whole thing on rolling car seats.

My early thought was for a half-dozen projectors to cast images and video on everything - actors, audience, floor. Rental cost reality intervened, but we acquired three new 4KW LCD projectors inexpensively. After trials for brightness and image size, I decided to array them across a background, which would include the "offstage" chorus members.

The ground plan was easy, but the background was another story. A background of 60s road-side sign shapes seems such an obvious choice, but it took days of sketching and research browsing to get there. I needed enough projection surface for the images to make sense, but I didn't want the show to be about them. As I worked on the show I also moderated emphasis on car and road motifs.

One laptop served the center projector and one served the sides. The software was Powerpoint, but needed to be something more elegant. The sources were still images from a variety of sources, and a driving video that ran over bows. The choice of images was in flux through opening.

Most photos below are from a pickup with actors in rehearsal clothing.

How I Learned To Drive
How I Learned To Drive How I Learned To Drive
How I Learned To Drive How I Learned To Drive
How I Learned To Drive

All original content © 2008 copyright Arthur L. Dirks