Red: A Canvas Responsive Sensory Production

Connor Flanigan, College of Engineering

Collaborators: Anirudh Keshamouni, School of Music, Theatre & Dance; Evan Pillow, School of Music, Theatre & Dance; Nicholas Krstevski, College of Engineering; Ryan Wu, College of Engineering; John Thompson, College of Engineering

We want to deliver a production that uses sounds engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, to empower the visual arts and theatrical performance in a production of Red — A 2-person play about the famous abstract painter, Mark Rothko, and the testing of his artistic value system that is interrogated by his apprentice as they work on a commissioned work for the Four Seasons in the late ’50s. The core experiential element we will be adding is tapping into the vibrations on the canvas as it’s painted on throughout the play and using that feedback to adjust to music and lighting on the set. We plan to demonstrate this element to the audience beforehand by having the canvas open to touch before the play starts. In the end, we hope our audience will appreciate the amplification of the core element, the painting, while also enjoying the maximization of the unique elements of the specific performance that are highlighted through the use of technology.