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Dec. 5, 2011/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu


Center for Design Innovation Co-Sponsors Seminar on Large-Scale Productions by WorldStage President Josh Weisberg


WINSTON-SALEM – The School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has partnered with WorldStage, a leading supplier of the latest technology in projection, audio, lighting and support for high-profile productions, to provide students with expert instruction in the highly technical field of projection. Josh Weisberg, president and founder of WorldStage, will be on campus this month, along with two WorldStage employees who are alumni of UNCSA, and cutting-edge projection equipment worth a quarter-of-a-million dollars.

Weisberg will present “Content for Large-Scale Productions” at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the RJR Screening Room at UNCSA. Co-sponsored by the Center for Design Innovation, the seminar will discuss content for projections in entertainment genres including Broadway, concerts, corporate theatre and public art. Weisberg will describe various projects and speak especially to the appropriateness of the content, including image format, aesthetics and composition. The seminar is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP to coatesn@uncsa.edu.

From the WorldStage portfolio

Two Design and Production alumni who work at WorldStage will provide students with practical training on projection and media servers, and will conduct seminars for students on projection as a new avenue of employment and a new world of technology for the entertainment industry. Tom Donoghue (1998, College Arts Diploma, Technical Direction) and Michael Kohler (2009, B.F.A., Lighting) will bring with them equipment that students could not otherwise access, according to Norman Coates, faculty-artist and director of the lighting program at UNCSA.

Lighting design students will work alongside scenic design students, using the WorldStage equipment and expertise, to create self-generated projects incorporating music, projection, and moving lights. Five projects will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in the Thrust Theatre of Performance Place on UNCSA’s campus. The unnamed production, formerly known as Moving Lights Extravaganza, is free and open to the public. 

Coates said hands-on access to both the equipment and expertise is hugely beneficial to students. “This is equipment and technology the school cannot afford,” said Coates, adding the students will also gain unique experience they don’t get by designing productions at UNCSA. “They are normally restricted by the requirements of the play, but this experience will allow them to expand their imagination and creativity without limitation.”

Once used in theatre to replace scenery, projection has become an integral design element, and has created a need for artists who are comfortable with the equipment and technology. “Projection adds an important element to our aesthetic tool box in the theatre world,” said School of Design and Production Dean Joseph P. Tilford.

Tilford said strong working relationships with entertainment industry partners like WorldStage help drive the success and excellence of the School of Design and Production at UNCSA. “As a career-oriented, hands-on, professional school, we are consistently seeking and receiving the advice and assistance of leading professional companies to help us train our students with strong aesthetics, exciting content and cutting-edge equipment for the real-world careers that we want for our students,” he said.

Graduates who are comfortable with projection technology face excellent career prospects, according to Tilford. Employment opportunities include corporate events such as major product launches, rock concert tours, and large-scale theatrical productions such as the Metropolitan Opera.

WorldStage was created in 2007, when New York-based Scharff Weisberg merged with California-based Video Applications. The company provides audio, video and lighting technologies to corporate, artistic and theatrical clients including Wendy’s Restaurant, Mercedes, Ralph Lauren, CBS, Ford, Wonderland on Broadway, Shrek the Musical on Broadway, and the PGA Championships. For more information, visit www.worldstage.com.

The Center for Design Innovation is a multi-campus research center that seeks to catalyze economic transformation of the state's Piedmont area through design-focused activity based on advanced digital technologies. CDI's constituent campuses are UNCSA and Winston-Salem State University, collaborating with Forsyth Technical Community College. For more information, visit www.centerfordesigninnovation.org.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.