Community production of HONK with digital 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 of budget and I did not have a lot of opportunity to do something grand in real life. I just don’t have the budget to make what I want happen, what’s in my head come out that way. And it (scenic projections) really gets me there. The projections can really help me get along the way there. I can get so much further with a lot less money. Incredible. The color, the projections, a lot of the equipment already exists. I’m not out buying new things. I have the projector or the facilities I’ve used have the projector already. I have the computer. There’s nothing new to buy there. It’s literally just the cost of the projection. And it goes so far. The return on that investment is incredible.

And there’s sometimes that I don’t have the theatre space ahead of time, I don’t have a workshop to be painting things. I don’t have my own personal time to be in the theatre space overseeing kids painting a thing (backdrop). Which I love (for) them to do it. It’s a great team building time but I just don’t have the personal time to do that. And so, sometimes it’s a tradeoff. Where would my time be spent best? And sometimes it’s been best spent with choreography instead or it’s been better spent even just on my personal life; instead of toiling away at something that I can get such a better result.

We did ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and we had these gigantic panels made and they were on casters and this whole thing and it’s rolling. It was a weeks long production. And it was a cool impact and it was such a production to do this thing but after having done that, and then also using projections, there’s no way I would not use them anymore. I might still make some pieces and have some flats that are painted and go on and and are part of the set and enhance some things. But there’s no way I would just go with an empty background anymore or try to create the entire thing myself from scratch when it’s there. Somebody’s able to help out with that—that piece is there already.”

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