Representation on Stage - Didactic

The word didactic is defined as information designed or intended to teach or sometimes teaching, with the ulterior motive for moral instruction. In terms of projection design this can be accomplished quite easily and was first embraced by Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht in 1920's Germany. Didactic projections can take the form of a variety of mediums but it should be understood that whatever that is it should be in someway a reflection of reality. The reality that the play is trying to expose and use that information to fuel the meaning of the work. Projections does this easily by employing techniques that can derivative of the news (Newspapers, Broadcast television, Newsreels), political concepts, instructional information, and anything that can give historical context. Often times text is employed but also iconic imagery that can be easily reconizeable within the context of understanding a time period.

Preshow ads in Skin of Our Teeth 2015

Preshow ads in Skin of Our Teeth 2015

 
Lesson in literature in Wit 2017

Lesson in literature in Wit 2017

Character looking at security footage of self on the wall. columbinus 2013

Character looking at security footage of self on the wall. columbinus 2013

It is in this context that many playwrights will write these images into the script it helps to offer a window to the issues important of the times. Using facts to support an argument similar to how a new program may use information to not only report an event but also to promote a perspective. For example the play columbinus draws on the images of the events surrounding the incident to put the audience in the feeling of someone watching the events unfold in front of them.  Didactic imagery is often used in shows that deals with social and political issues and gives credibility to stance the play presents as its perspective. In a simpler manner they can also either be presentations given by characters or survailence video from a live feed.

 
Chatroom in columbinus 2013

Chatroom in columbinus 2013

Representation on Stage - Contextual/Dialectic

In as simple of a term projection design can be signified as both a subject and a question. In as much as one can answer the 5W's of investigation (What, Who, Where, When, Why) as well as the definition of a noun (Person, place, thing, or idea) as projected imagery and the manipulation of it allows for the solution to the questions posed by the text. It is easy to assume that this could be considered the oldest use of projections, but in fact that fails to take into account the Phantasmogoria's of the 18th and 19th century, the experimentation of cinema, and magic lanterns by magicians in the late 19th century, and light shows from artist like Thomas Wilfred in the early 20th century. However, in the mid 20th century this was the main use of projection design in commercial American Theatre with the use of slide projectors. In that format in it's simplest form projections can provide the opportunity to contextualize that information to define the space.

 It can be as simple as projecting the words 'noon,'

Designation of time from  'columbinus'  2012

Designation of time from 'columbinus' 2012

to what can be defined as a scenic backdrop whether still or moving. The dynamics of which can be explored either in the defining of a space (ie the place itself) or the feeling of the space. Such as moving branches on a window, or scrolling images on a idle computer.

Dead moving branches on voile windows in  'The Stone Witch'  2016

Dead moving branches on voile windows in 'The Stone Witch' 2016

The Devil's Ball in ' The Master and Margarita '   2014                                                                                                                                                     

The Devil's Ball in 'The Master and Margarita'   2014                                                                                                                                                     

Faustus after the deal is finished, with idle computers in the background  'The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus'  2015

Faustus after the deal is finished, with idle computers in the background 'The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus' 2015

In short contextual projections simply places the character and audience with the world defining time and place. Defining the space is an expensive enterprise to invest in when dealing with projections, as the first priority of this path of representation is believably. More plainly, does this world mesh with the world of the play that has been also defined by the scenery, costumes as well as the other design elements. Does it communicate the dimensions of the space, does it shift with the rhythms of the text, can it disappear are all questions that must be take into consideration, is equipment powerful/sofisticaed enough to acheive these things. In one sense it can be defined partially as a realistic rendering of a fictitious reality on stage. In another way it is a great way to set up an expectation from the audience providing the illusion of expectation to the surprise of a change to that same space.