Dinosaurs Taking Over HFC Stage

Rempela, Jodi/Dearborn Press and Guide/November 3, 2014: pp. 4-5

     The day has finally arrived. After months of preparing and hard work, the theater team and Virtual Theatricality Lab from Henry Ford College have staged the long-awaited, Dinosaurus!.

     Shows began Nov. 1 and continue through the 23rd.

     This 3-D, and sometimes 4-D, family-friendly play features a 20-foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex) and will be on stage at the Adray Auditorium, located in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center at HFC, 5101 Evergreen Road.

     The Theatricality Lab uses virtual characters and scenery and combines them with real stage actors.

     “It’s like when 3-D first came. It’s like when sound first came out,” said George Popovich, director of Theater Arts and Director of the Virtual Theatricality Lab. “It’s a new modality of presentation.”

     Dinosaurus! is the story of two oil explorers who discover a lost colony of dinosaurs deep beneath the earth’s surface. One of the explorers attempts to exploit the dinosaurs, while the other wants to leave their underground hideout untouched by civilization. Written by Edward Mast and Lenore Beninger, “Dinosaurus!” is directed by Popovich, who also teaches film and theatre at HFC.

     Dinosaurus! will be presented in an immersive environment. The audience will be seated onstage and will be surrounded by a physical set built and painted to match the virtual set projected in 3-D stereo on a 20×36 foot 3-D projection screen. The audience will wear 3-D glasses. The dinosaurs will appear to be 20 feet tall. To further the immersive environment, several 4-D effects will be created, which is a physical effect complementing an animated or virtual effect. So when the T-Rex sneezes, it’s probably a good idea to duck.

     Public shows are at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays.

     Purchasing tickets early is strongly advised because only 80 people will be allowed in each show.

     In addition to the public shows, the group is also doing school performances. “Dinosaurus” is recommended for grades 1-5.

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