The Northlight Theater in Chicago capped its 40th anniversary celebrations with a world premiere this summer. “Shining Lives: A Musical” tells the story of courageous Illinois women against a background of soaring music and evocative projections. The haunting digital scenography was created by Chicago-based projection designer Stephan Mazurek using Dataton WATCHOUT multi-display software.
“Shining Lives: A Musical” is the story of four women from Illinois and their trials and tribulations from radium poisoning in the 1920s. The digital scenography in “Shining Lives” called for a sure creative touch to match the poetic language of the playwright Melanie Marnich. Northlight Theater called on Stephan Mazurek, with a background in projection design for theater, dance and opera companies, for the musical's world premiere in spring 2015. Dataton WATCHOUT multi-display software was Mazurek's first choice for production and playback: “WATCHOUT enables me to chase visions and then change my mind mid stream – if need be – while designing a show, and still make my clients feel confident I will be ready and accounted for on opening night.”
Stephan Mazurek's projection design for “Shining Lives: A Musical” uses four projectors on dual backdrop screens to deliver complex, multi-layered imagery. “WATCHOUT's multiple timelines, compositions and nesting were features that really helped with the execution of Shining Lives,” Mazurek says. “The ability to run four or five video sequences simultaneously, then add still images and text on top of the layers, is one of many strengths of the software.”
In “Shining Lives”, one of the strongest visuals showed time literally slipping away, underlining the inevitable progress of the poison, and lingering in the minds of the audience. As a director of photography, photographer and projection designer, Mazurek understands the power of images and their interaction with an audience – and actors. “In any live show with actors, one of the greatest challenges is calling the cues to the performers' actions,” explains Mazurek. “Having multiple timelines open and ready to cue in WATCHOUT is key to a smooth technical rehearsal process and delivery of the final cue list for the show.”
Both critics and audience lauded “Shining Lives: A Musical,” moved by its elegant depiction of this story of determination.
“Live performance has always been one of the strengths of WATCHOUT,” says Dataton COO, Lars Sandlund. “And we're proud that we're making it even stronger by adding a slew of relevant new features in WATCHOUT 6 such as live edit, multiple source video playback, pre-visualization and a new darker user interface.”
The award-winning Northlight Theater is one of the largest nonprofit theaters in the Chicago area, with audiences totaling over 50,000 each season.
Dataton has a proud 40-year history of innovation in AV. The company's flagship products include the award-winning Dataton WATCHOUT multi-display production and presentation system, WATCHPAX media server, as well as the intuitive Dataton PICKUP audio guide. Research and development facilities are located in Linköping, Sweden, and Dataton has worldwide representation through an established partner network. You’ll find Dataton products in commercial and cultural installations in every part of the world. The Dataton Premium Partner for North America is Show Sage LLC.