Inside "Our Town: A New Media Theatrical Experience"

This event took place on Dec 4, 2017

* This workshop is free of charge! Just RSVP *

Duration: 1h 30m
Instructor: Clare Johnson


Discover how artists are combining hand drawn 360 imagery, projection, gesture based control and spatial audio in theatrical performance. Artist Clare Johnson will present her innovative work and process in the recent production of Thornton Wilder’s American theater classic, Our Town produced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s EMPAC Center in Troy, NY.
Clare created six intricate pen and ink drawings and one larger acrylic painting to be used as interactive digital backdrops for the production. The project involved working closely with the script to plan images that heighten the themes of the play while keeping within playwright Thornton Wilder’s parameters of avoiding showing the actual scenery of each setting. For the play, digital versions of the art were projected on a huge 360-degree screen above the theater space. These versions were animated digitally and controlled through motion tracking technology by one actor with hand gestures.
Clare’s work for Our Town: A New Media Theatrical Experience was made possible in part by funding from 4Culture.
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Clare Johnson

Clare Johnson

Clare Johnson is an artist and writer originally from Seattle. She has exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest and England, including at London’s Jerwood Space and Lauderdale House (as a winner of Pride in the House, a UK-wide competition for LGBTQ artists). She’s received the Michael S. Harper Poetry Prize and a Jack Straw Writing Fellowship for her writing. Publications include Poetry Northwest, quiet Shorts, Cranky, Shake The Tree, Raven Chronicles, and cover art for two books. She is also the author of DK Publishing’s recent book How to Draw (Penguin Random House). Solo exhibitions include Oxford’s North Wall Arts Centre, Bridport Arts Centre, Hugo House, Storefronts Seattle, and Guy’s Hospital in London, where her 35-piece drawing project about childhood experiences with asthma was acquired for permanent display. The asthma project is one of many combining art and writing: her ongoing Post-it Note Project (drawing and writing on a post-it note every night to remember something from the day), which won a Seattle Magazine Best of 2011 for ‘Best New Take on the Memoir’ and a cover-feature in Real Change, with weekly excerpts currently being published by Seattle Review of Books; Drawing from Literature (a growing series of art inspired by favorite books), for which she received an Artist Trust grant; and Roses, a limited edition book pairing her set of 27 drawings with poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, published in 2014. In 2017 she received residencies from Mineral School (winning a June Dodge Fellowship) and Surel’s Place, and won the grand prize in Allied Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Awards.

Photo credit: Katia Roberts


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