Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was put on stage during the festive season of December 2013 in the newly refurbished Municipal Theatre of Piraeus. Two actors played all the characters and their actions were constantly underlined and dramatized by live music by the Kamerata Symfoniata chamber orchestra. Interactive projections played a central role in the narrative as ghosts from Scrooge’s past, present and future came to haunt him.
Our goal was to break from the traditional model which places the chamber orchestra in a pit in front of the live action during the narration of children’s stories. To that effect we designed the performance so that the audience has constant visual access to the orchestra, the live action from the actors as well as the virtual world created by interactive projections. A semitransparent projection surface (gauze) gave more depth to the stage and allowed for easy transitions in and out of the magical world of Charles Dickens. All narration was underlined by projections which were fully interactive, turning the art of storytelling into an immersive experience. The actor would interact with the dynamic features of each scene. Morphing-bending the environment, modulating the colors of the scenery and assuming the role of a digital puppet-master.
Depth cameras were used to acquire information about the location and the movement of the actors on stage. This information was fed into an in-house developed tracking engine using industry leading computer vision libraries. On top of that the voice of the actors in certain scenes was processed in real time and modulated aspects of the virtual world. We used technologies such as point cloud manipulation, physics and animation engines and much more, in order to empower the actor as a story teller and enrich the experience for the audience.
concept & implementation: visualcortex
direction: Christos Georgiou, Akis Sakellariou
actors: Akis Sakellariou, Anastasia Giannaki
musical orchestration: Theodoros Lempesis
musical direction: Nikos Chaliasas
orchestra: Kamerata SIMFONIA
costumes: Tina Vasilikou