Friday, Nov. 16 – 8 p.m. EST
Join us on Nov. 16 as Bob Jones University presents the first ever webcast of a Classic Players’ production—Richard III: The Terrible Reign.
Director Jeff Stegall’s Victorian-futuristic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III explores the destructive consequences of Richard’s uninhibited ambition as he grapples with the ghosts of his bloody campaign—a campaign that will ultimately bring about his own demise.
Want to see it in person?
Performances are Nov. 14–16.Buy your tickets now
The Challenge of a Webcast
Being the first Classic Players’ production to be webcast, Richard III: The Terrible Reign presents a unique set of technical challenges.
Video director Dan Boone, who will be overseeing the recording of the webcast, says the biggest challenge is getting the camera exposure just right. Whereas the human eye easily adjusts to the darker setting in this play, cameras often require more specialized lighting to capture comparable image clarity.
With the set in gloss-black, the actors in dark costumes, and a majority of the lighting from the side of the stage, Dan says it’s very easy for the cameras to catch a glare or overexpose or underexpose the image.
Despite the challenges it presents, recording a performance live actually simplifies the overall task of the camera crews when compared to recording a film.
The camera crews must simply record the action on stage without worrying about setting up lights for each shot or recording multiple takes. Thankfully for them, most of the action in Richard III: The Terrible Reign takes place in a 20-foot strip on the forestage, making Ricahrd III a relatively straightforward production to shoot.
The plan is to use multiple cameras placed centrally in the auditorium. To ensure the cameras capture all of the action, wider shots of scenes will be used to account for extra steps or unexpected moves by actors. Overseeing the entire recording, Dan Boone will be carefully monitoring a script and relaying critical information to his camera crews about what to expect next.
For the actors, it’s still business as usual. However, during rehearsals Jeff Stegall had pylons set up offstage to mark where cameras would be during the performance. When actors had a monologue or significant role on stage, they used these visual references to help them stay in a place where all three of the cameras would be able to see them without any obstructions from other actors or props.
From two to four
Seeing the success of last year’s webcast of the Joyce Yang concert, Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication, decided to expand the number of fine arts programs that BJU makes available online from two to four.
“I wanted to feature one of our plays for variety,” he says. “We have a long and successful history with our Classic Players productions, and it just made sense to use one of these productions for a special webcast.”
The freshness of Jeff Stegall’s adaptation also made Richard III: The Terrible Reign an especially inviting choice for a first Classic Players’ webcast. “I chose Richard III because it’s a brand new production with newly designed sets and costumes,” Dr. Lawson says. “The concept designs and adaptation by Jeffrey Stegall work very well to make the play accessible for today’s audience.”
Connecting and Reconnecting
With more than 3,000 people tuning in to last year’s concert webcast, there are high hopes that Richard III: The Terrible Reign will have a similarly sized or larger online audience.
Jeff Stegall is already hearing from many alumni who previously were a part of a production of Richard III. “I’ve already reconnected with some graduates on my blog,” Jeff says. “I think the production is going to be a great tool for reuniting some of our graduates from 10 or 20 years ago.”
In addition to reconnecting with alumni, webcasting is also a great way to connect with the community and prospective students and their families.
Dr. Lawson especially hopes that young people interested in drama will tune in to the webcast. “We hope many prospective students interested in theater will join us for this special webcast and then consider developing their talents for God’s glory here at BJU.”
Watch the webcast on Friday, November 16, at 8 p.m. EST.
Published October 25, 2012