Multimedia Performance Studio

School of Art
College of Visual and Performing Arts


MPS creates original productions, often drawing on historical or science fiction sources; innovative stagings of opera and new music theater; multimedia scenography for theater, dance and performance art; and indoor and outdoor projection installations. Under the sponsorship of the School of Art, MPS artists work in the Mason Media Lab and the Harris Theatre at George Mason University, where they experiment with new and traditional stage technologies, and develop imaginative approaches to the integration of these technologies with the live action and music of theater. Making these works, threaded and laced with new media, is the equivalent of creating a play (or opera), a movie, and a CD album, all at the same time.

Live Movies is constructed as a field guide to new media for the performing arts, not the guide. It is for the performing arts, both the artists and producers, and the disciplines, theater, opera, music theater, performance art, dance, dance theater, music concerts and puppetry (all divided from each other by the Industrial Revolution, according to Jacques Attali). It is also intended to prove useful to artists and organizations who create architectural installations, exhibitions, films, pageants, spectacles and any number of other projects which rely on, and are exploring, new media. This book is also addressed to the general reader who is curious about the interplay among humans, machines, information systems and culture(s).

Cinematic and visual “literacy” have prepared today’s audience for new forms of narrative and stage design. This field guide is intended as a resource to the field(s) of the performing arts, new and traditional, for both experienced experimenters and for those just beginning to work with multimedia technologies, and most particularly those who work with a modest, limited budget.

By “new media,” in MPS, we mean primarily digital projection and sound design; the term also can refer to breakthroughs in, and explorations of, new technologies in lighting, visual displays, automated kinetic scenery, animatronics and more being dreamed up even as you read this. Many of which we have explored, or are exploring, to a range of degrees. And of course it all revolves about the computer…
This project is supported in part by a Resources for Change award from the National Endowment for the Arts


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