This KU Theatre for Young people production is another step in the University Theatre's ongoing work with virtual reality technology. Director Patrick Carriere, Bemidji, MN, graduate student, and Mark Reaney professor of theatre & Film teamed up to stage this exciting dramatization of the global conflicts between dinosaur and man, nature and technology, and the prehistoric past and contemporary present. Dinosaurs is the story of the encounter between two oil company surveyors and a community of 10 dinosaurs, which has survived in an underground cavern for eons. The two prospectors are awestruck as they confront and disrupt the family of dinosaurs, which seeeks solutions from a wise and gentle matriarchal brontosaurus. The dinosaurs decide to play dead to "explain" their extinction and, in the end, one of the scientists decides to dynamite the cave entrance in order to save the dinosaurs from actual extinction.
Originally written as a play for shadow puppets, with the actorrs working behind a screen, Dinosaurus has also ben performed with puppets in a style where actors move back and forth from being the puppeteer to the actor, and it has been played with the dinosaurs enacted using stilts and symbolic costuming. This KU-TYP production, which has a company of six actors, is especially exciting because of the integration of virtual reality technology. The chorus essentially acts as the translators and add the emotional detail to the CGI dinosaurs. Close ensemble work between the on-stage actors and the off-stage dinosaur operators ensured that the dinos and their human alter-egos moved in unison.
Prior to public performance, Dinosaurus was performed for the children in grades one, two and three of the Lawrence and Douglas County Schools. Carriere said that Dinosaurus is a good show for younger children because it "encourages respect in their relationships with each other and the other inhabitants of our environment."
Patrick Carriere - Director
Mark Reaney - Designer/Technologist
Voice Coaching by Paul Meier
Movement Coaching by Marianne Kubik
Nate Hughes - Special Animation Sequence
Brian Diltz - Assistant Scenographer
The Dinosaur Chorus:
Peek Theresa Buchheister
Bunk Brad Danler
Click on the pictures above for larger images!