Author Archive | Mitch Stark

Big Fish Projections, a preview into the collection of animated and still projections for the classic show.

Big Fish Projections

Big Fish is a simple, heartwarming tale about fathers, sons, and the power of storytelling. As a stage production, it’s begging for lush, magical locations that sweep the audience away. Check out our full Director’s Collection, a handpicked bundle of digital projections for theatres and schools. If you’re not looking for the full collection, but […]

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Getting Started with Projection Backdrops, an online workshop to help theatre, ballet, and dance directors and beyond to begin using scenic projections in their shows.

Getting Started with Projection Backdrops

Projections are the wave of the future in theatre, ballet, dance, magic and beyond. Technology has evolved to a point where not only are the tools affordable and available, but they are intuitive enough to get started using projections without needing to be a tech genius. Below is an online workshop I gave with William […]

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Land of Snow, one of many holiday and Christmas digital animated projection backdrops that can be purchased for theatre, dance and ballet performances.

Holiday and Christmas Projections

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various Holiday and Christmas performances on stage, musical and non-musical versions. The holidays are a magical time of year, and we’re very excited to be building a collection over time of digital projection backdrops that can help to transport your audience and create […]

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Cliffside Peach Grows, a digital projection backdrop available at Theatre Avenue, shows a peach slowly expanding in size until it fills the frame—perfect for stage performances of James and the Giant Peach.

Projections for ‘James and the Giant Peach’

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various versions of ‘James of the Giant Peach’ on stage, musical and non-musical versions. If you have any questions or we can help in any way to make these projections work in your space, contact us here! Buy “Cliffside Peach Grows” Animated Projection […]

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Theatre director Jarah Botello discusses digital theater projections and backdrops, and how new tech is helping schools and community theatre.

What Are Your Thoughts on Digital Theatre Projections? | Behind the Curtain

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta-based theatre director and college instructor Jarah Botello. Jarah discusses her views on digital theatre projections and their role in modern theatrical, ballet, and dance performances. This is part of a larger conversation with Mitch Stark, Founding Creative Director of Theatre Avenue. Theatre Avenue is a creative studio […]

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Theatre director and teacher Jarah Botello discusses Hamilton, Bright Star, and what she would love to see more of in modern theatre.

What Would You Love to See More in Theatre? | Behind the Curtain

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta-based theatre director and college instructor Jarah Botello. Jarah discusses what she loves about modern theatre and how shows like ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Bright Star’ pave a way for diversity of expression. This is part of a larger conversation with Mitch Stark, Founding Creative Director of Theatre Avenue. Theatre […]

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Jarah Botello, Atlanta-based theatre director and college instructor, discusses scenic design and projections.

What Makes a Show Design Really Work? | Behind the Curtain

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta-based theatre director and college instructor Jarah Botello. Jarah discusses her perspective on a show’s scenic design and what the important elements are to making it successful and stand out. Video Length: 1:54 (1 minute, 54 seconds) QUESTION: “What Makes a Show Design Really Work?” JARAH: “I tend to be […]

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Candy Factory, a digital projection backdrop for shows like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Projections for ‘Willy Wonka’

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for versions of Willy Wonka and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on stage, including youth and jr. versions. Don’t see the projection you need? We are always rounding out this collection with more scenes and animations, so we’d be happy to explore a […]

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Writing for EdTA’s ‘Teaching Theatre’ Magazine

Theatre Avenue had an incredible opportunity this summer. EdTA’s Anita Manderfield reached out to me to write an article about projection design for their summer buying guide of ‘Teaching Theatre.’ With the goal of teaching the essential tips of getting started using projections in high school theatre, Anita had the idea that we fashion a […]

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Wizard of Oz digital projection backdrop of the Emerald City, for theatre and ballet companies.

Projections for ‘Wizard of Oz’

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various versions of Wizard of Oz on stage including The Wizard of Oz youth versions and The Wiz. Don’t see the projection you need? We are currently rounding out this collection with more scenes and animations, so we’d be happy to explore a […]

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Artistic Director Michael Montgomery talks to projection designer Mitch Stark about Wizard of Oz, and how digital backdrops brought an animated life to several scenes.

“Wizard of Oz” — Post-Show Chat with Michael Montgomery

Mitch: So Michael, tell me about how The Wizard of Oz went. Michael: It went great! Overall, big success. I think we blew people away quite frankly. We are a community theatre at heart. What does community theatre mean? I think people associate community theatre with low budget maybe and that’s true, although I don’t […]

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Joseph digital projection backdrops

How Did Projections Enhance ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?’

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta-based artistic director Amanda Farnsworth. Amanda talks about her community production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’ and how digital projection backdrops brought the stage to life in ways she didn’t originally imagine. Video Length: 3:52 (3 minutes, 52 seconds) QUESTION: “How Did Projections Enhance […]

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Victorian windows with digital projection backdrops

“Pride and Prejudice”—Post-Show Projections Chat with Shannon K

Welcome to my post-show projection chat with Shannon Khatcheressian! Shannon is an amazing director and person and I’ve had the joy of working with her 3 times now—creating projection backdrops for Annie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and now, Pride and Prejudice. Shannon is incredibly creative and one of those movers and shakers that is always looking […]

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What Software to Use for Theatre Projections? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to technical director Josh Hornung. Josh recommends what computer software to use to display theatre projection backdrops for your show. Josh makes a good case for keeping it simple, using software like Keynote (on the Mac) which is probably already loaded on your laptop. Video Length: 1:38 (1 minute, […]

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Marty Karp, A/V specialist, tech guru, director of marketing at Show Sage LLC

Interview with Marty Karp about Theatre Projections

I met Marty Karp at the 2017 edTA National Conference in Nashville this past September. Marty was there as an exhibitor talking up his projection playback software called Watchout. After talking to Marty for about an afternoon and also having him provide some incredibly valuable insights at our Theatre Avenue workshop, I knew he would […]

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Using Projections in Annie the Musical

How Did You Use Projections in Annie? | Behind the Curtain

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta-based artistic director Amanda Farnsworth. Amanda talks about her unique take on the classic show, Annie, and how she used digital projection backdrops to bring something fresh and interesting to the stage. Video Length: 1:57 (1 minute, 57 seconds) QUESTION: “How Did You Use Projections in Annie?” AMANDA: “Oh my […]

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“Exstasis” — Post-Show Projections Chat with Tara Lee

In October 2017, Theatre Avenue teamed up with Terminus Modern Ballet Company to create a series of unique digital projections for the world premiere of their show, ‘Exstasis.’ A small troupe of former Atlanta Ballet dancers and creators, Terminus set out to tell an emotionally-charged story with strong themes and visuals. I sat down with […]

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What is at the Heart of Theatre? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta-based artistic director Amanda Farnsworth. Amanda discusses the heart of theatre, as well as why it endures in a world filled with every kind of media and entertainment Video Length: 1:51 (1 minute, 51 seconds) QUESTION: “What is at the heart of theatre?” AMANDA: “In my experience, the heart of […]

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How Do You Get the Best from Theatre Students? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta theatre director Amanda Farnsworth about how to get the very best from students during a production. Amanda discusses her process in length—how she involves her cast members on a deeper level, helping them to first understand and then believe in the story being told on stage. Amanda […]

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Projection designer Mitch Stark creating a digital scenic backdrop for theatre.

Making Digital Theatre Projections [video]

A little peek behind the scenes at Theatre Avenue, where we design and animate projections for theatre and ballet shows. This video will give you a taste of what it’s like here: warm, fun, and down to earth. But we are also a team committed to doing incredible work for incredible makers of theatre—drama teachers, […]

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Theatre director Amanda Farnsworth shares how to keep directing youth and community theatre fun show after show.

How Do You Keep Theatre Directing Fun? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to Atlanta theatre director Amanda Farnsworth about how she keeps theatre directing fun show after show. She discusses how to beat the ‘dog days’ leading up to tech week, where the jokes cease to be funny and everyone is starting to feel tired and burned out. Amanda has a […]

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Pro tech director Paul Ackerman and Theatre Ave founder Mitch Stark discuss best projectors to use for digital backdrops.

Projection Pro Tip #4: Best Projector Manufacturers?

This is part 4 of an interview with professional technical director Paul Ackerman. This interview will provide a series of tips for using theatrical projections—in a simple question and answer, ‘how do you go about it?’ type format. Mitch: When it comes to projection gear, are there any manufacturers who seem to consistently be the best […]

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Projection Pro Tip #3: What Tech to Buy First When You Start?

This is part 3 of an interview with professional tech director Paul Ackerman. This interview will provide a series of tips for using theatrical projections—in a simple question and answer, ‘how do you go about it?’ type format. Mitch: If you’re a high school director, for example, wanting to start using projections in your shows, where […]

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Theatre director and teacher Robert Botello discusses animated projection backdrops and how they impact the audience in productions of all sizes.

What Excites You About Animated Projections? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to theatre director and teacher Robert Botello about animated projections and what excites him about the spectacle and possibilities of digital environments in shows. Video Length: 1:41 (1 minute, 41 seconds) QUESTION: “What Excites You About Animated Projections?” ROBERT: “When Lion King first came out and they were using puppets and […]

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Projection designer Mitch Stark and tech director Paul Ackerman discuss digital theatre projections, and if front or rear projection is more favored.

Projection Pro Tip #2: Lean Toward Front or Rear Projection?

This is part 2 of an interview with pro technical director Paul Ackerman. This interview will provide a series of tips for using theatrical projections—in a simple question and answer, ‘how do you go about it’ type format. Mitch: Taking into consideration that every space is different and provides unique challenges, would you steer a […]

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Theatrical tech director Josh Hornung discusses digital projection backdrops and their impact on shows and plays of all sizes.

What Do Digital Theatre Projections Bring to a Show? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to experienced technical director Josh Hornung about using projections in theatrical shows. He speaks to the impact they can have on a production and how it bleeds over into the area of tech, where it’s refreshing to participate in a part that’s inspiring and has a direct impact on the […]

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What Do You Love Most About Projections? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to theatre director Amanda Farnsworth about her love for projections. She expresses joy about the old days of unrolling traditionally painted backdrops and how digital projections have allowed her to embrace the idea by making it affordable for the theatre companies she works with. Amanda’s passion for the magic […]

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Theatre artistic director Amanda Farnsworth directs Annie at a local community theatre.

What Inspires You as a Theatre Director? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, artistic director Amanda Farnsworth talks about what inspires her most when she’s producing a new show or musical. Video Length: 1:31 (1 minute, 31 seconds) QUESTION: “What Inspires You as a Theatre Director?” AMANDA: “I get really inspired when the people who are acting on stage really start to care about the story […]

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How Can Projections Help with Scene Transitions? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, theatre director and teacher Robert Botello discusses how projections can create smooth, effortless scenic changes in a show. He talks about how society has evolved in its expectations for entertainment and how the stories of certain theatrical shows lend themselves to faster transitions from scene to scene. Video Length: 2:31 […]

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Role of Theatre Projections in a Show? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain I talk about the role that theatre projections play in a show—keying in on their relationship with the actors on stage and the balance to find the right harmony in telling a good story. Video Length: 1:14 (1 minute, 14 seconds) QUESTION: “What Role Do Theatre Projections Play in a Show?” […]

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Favorite Theatre Show You’ve Directed? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain we ask artistic director Amanda Farnsworth what has been her favorite theatre show she’s directed over the years. Video Length: 2:31 (2 minutes, 31 seconds) QUESTION: “What’s Been Your Favorite Theatre Show to Direct?” AMANDA: “I love Seussical the Musical. I’ve directed that a lot (chuckles). It seems to come up a lot. It’s […]

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Why is Theatre Good for Kids? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain we talk with artistic director Amanda Farnsworth about how school and community theatre is good for kids, creating a safe place for them to learn and experience joy and family. Video Length: 2:07 QUESTION: “Why is Theatre Good for Kids?” AMANDA: “The first time I saw a theatre production on stage my mind dripped out of […]

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Theatre director and school teacher Robert Botello discusses theatre projection backdrops.

How Are Projections Valuable to Teachers? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain we talk with community theatre director and school teacher Robert Botello about how projections can be valuable to teachers in their plays and productions. Video Length: 2:22 QUESTION: “How are theatre projections valuable to teachers?” ROBERT: “There’s been times where I’ve done a show and used projections and I just did not have a lot […]

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What is the Importance of Scenic Design? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain we talk with Artistic Director Amanda Farnsworth about the importance of scenic design in theatre, and she tells an incredible story about her favorite show, ‘The Secret Garden’ Video Length: 2:03 QUESTION: “What is the importance of scenic design in theatre?” AMANDA: “One of my favorite shows is ‘The Secret Garden.’ I saw […]

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Impact of Projections in Charlotte’s Web [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain I talk about the impact of projections on a theatre production of ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ Video Length: 1:33 QUESTION: “Can you speak to the impact of theatre projections in a show you’ve worked on?” MITCH: “One show that I saw that we used scenic projections for was ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ In ‘Charlotte’s Web’ there […]

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Using Projections as a Theatre Director? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain theatre director Robert Botello talks about scenic projections, how simple and intuitive it is using them as a director. Video Length: 2:02 Question: “As a theatre director, how’s it been using scenic projections?” Robert: “I think the biggest thing is getting rid of the thought process that it’s too much […]

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New YouTube Series: Behind the Curtain!

We’re starting a YouTube series called ‘Behind the Curtain!’ We plan to do one short question and answer each week—revolving around scenic projections and creating magical, affordable design for theatre. Will be a great opportunity to share our chops and passion for the craft and also feature drama teachers, community theatre directors, artists and enthusiasts. Hope you […]

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HONK! Shines with Theatre Projections

“The super website to shop from, ease of purchase, great support, and beautiful and colorful artwork really enhanced our production and made it a no brainer to be a repeat customer!” —PAT LAWRENCE, ARTSNASHOBA I spoke with Pat Lawrence recently, who was a producer on HONK! at ArtsNashoba in Groton, MA. She was thrilled to give […]

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‘Alice’ in the Works

We’ve started developing artwork and ideas for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ projections this month. Lots and lots of digital sketches and pencil drawings of dark forests, the Queen’s castle, the rabbit hole, Wonderland vistas, and beyond. And of course a bit of Danny Elfman’s movie score pumping through our headphones while we’re drawing! It’s so fun […]

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In Almost Every Musical…

  “In almost every musical ever written, there’s a place that’s usually about the third song of the evening – sometimes it’s the second, sometimes it’s the fourth, but it’s quite early – and the leading lady usually sits down on something; sometimes it’s a tree stump in Brigadoon, sometimes it’s under the pillars of […]

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Nice Words from England

Recently, we provided projections to Priory Community School in England. They were doing a variety show with a mix of classics such as Matilda, Wizard of Oz, Annie and other Broadway-style acts. Jessica Hall, their Head of Drama, sent over some nice words after the show and we are thrilled at the prospect that we […]

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NEW Projections in June and July

We’ve added several projections in the last couple of months and we’re gearing up for some exciting new designs and animations as we move toward fall! Here are some projections just perfect for various stage versions of ‘Willy Wonka’: Squirrel Nut Room Projection ($49)   Inventing Room (Animated) Projection ($99)   TV Room (Animated) Projection ($99)   […]

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New ‘Beauty and the Beast’ a Welcome Thing?

You can feel it in the air. And also in the record number of times people have watched the simple teaser trailer Disney released for their upcoming live-action adaptation of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ You have to admit. Everything looks and feels right for this film so far. The stunning and highly imaginative production design. The air […]

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NEW Projections This Month

Here is a collection of new projections we recently added to our online store. Take a look and let us know if there’s anything you’re anxious to see us add for a theatrical show you have coming up in the future! View ‘Fairy Tale Cottage’ Projection   View ‘African Grasslands’ Projection   View ‘Countryside’ Projection […]

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Projections for ‘HONK!’ and ‘HONK! Jr.’

Here are some projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various versions of ‘HONK!’ and ‘HONK! Jr.’ on stage. If you have any questions or we can help in any way to make these projections work in your space, contact us here! Buy “The Old Farm” Animated Projection ($99)   Buy “Cat’s Lair” Projection ($49)   […]

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Projections for ‘Lion King’

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various versions of ‘Lion King’ on stage, musical and non-musical versions. If you have any questions or we can help in any way to make these projections work in your space, contact us here! View “Hot Sunrise” Animated Projection ($99) Add to cart View “African […]

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Projections for ‘Charlotte’s Web’

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various versions of ‘Charlotte’s Web’ on stage, musical and non-musical versions. If you have any questions or we can help in any way to make these projections work in your space, contact us here! Buy “The Farmhouse” Projection ($49)   Buy “Inside the […]

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Inside the Drawing Vault

Although my process of designing projections often ends in the digital realm, painting on the computer, it always starts with pencils, pens and paper. Often for one piece of projection artwork, I’ll do a stack of drawings exploring shapes, compositions, and lighting. Here are a handful of images just to open up my vault a […]

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Projections for ‘Annie the Musical’

Here are a collection of projections we’ve designed that work especially well for various versions of ‘Annie’ on stage including ‘Annie the Musical’, ‘Annie Jr.’ and ‘Annie KIDS’. If you have any questions or we can help in any way to make these projections work in your space, contact us here! View “City Orphanage” Projection ($49) […]

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6 Awesome Videos to Inspire Your Creativity

Here are 6 incredible short videos guaranteed to get those creative juices flowing today. A little mix of inspiring, funny, sweet, and moving. ANIMATOR Glen Keane Creating Animated Ballet Magic with a Charcoal Pencil MUSIC COMPOSER John Williams Creating the Score for E.T. PHOTOGRAPHER Brandon Stanton Capturing the moving, real stories of the people of […]

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6 Great Quotes About Theatre

“Make them laugh, make them cry, and hack to laughter. What do people go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise. I am a servant of the people. I have never forgotten that.” —Mary Pickford “I think there is no world without theatre.” —Edward Bond “All the best performers bring to their role something more, […]

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Q&A #2: How do projections affect the overall feel of a show?

Projected backdrops transport the audience like nothing I’ve ever seen. They paint a mood instantly, in a way that traditional backdrops often cannot. They allow for moving elements, video elements, and mood/color shifts. You can build in rain, snow, fire, day/night gradation and other animated effects. Projections can also be painted in a range of […]

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