ShowcasesOZ 2.5, USA


How do you ensure a classic like the Wizard of Oz appeals to a young, tech-savvy audience in the 21 st century? The South Coast Repertory in California found the answer with OZ 2.5, a modern-day adaption which sees Dorothy playing a game called OZ on her iPad. When the tornado hits, Dorothy is sucked up into the video game and a whole new world. ”My job was to create that world,” says LA-based projection designer Kaitlyn Pietras.

Dataton's WATCHOUT multi-display system is Pietras' first choice when it comes to projection design. ”I encountered WATCHOUT in grad school at UCLA where I studied theatrical design. UCLA owned a WATCHOUT system and I have used it for every show ever since.” And that's a lot of shows: her career to date has brought her a New York Innovative Theatre Award nomination [Outstanding Innovative Design- Projection Design], an LA Drama Critics Circle Award for RII [Video Design] as well as two LA Weekly Award nominations for RII and Slipping [Projection Design]. Her most recent project is with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in a modern interpretation of Medea – also with WATCHOUT for the projection design.

In OZ 2.5, Pietras used WATCHOUT as the media server for all the video content in the production with Spikemark automation software integrated to map the video to the set as it moved. ”WATCHOUT is a critical part of my workflow when I am designing,” Pietras explains. ”I program the content to make changes as quickly as possible. During tech rehearsals for OZ 2.5 I had to make a lot of adjustments on the fly which is one of the strengths of WATCHOUT. ” 

For many of the children OZ 2.5 was the first show they had ever seen. Kaitlyn Pietas recalls the reactions: "One of my favorite moments was at the beginning of a preview when the first projection came up and a kid shouted “She’s in a movie!” They seemed to enjoy the interaction of the characters and the projections, and I hope my work was able to capture their imaginations and get them excited about seeing more theatre.”

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