School Theatre

Anastasia: The Musical at Madison Fine Arts Academy, Indiana

Piloted by Madison Fine Arts Academy, Indiana, in November 2020, read on to get first impressions from the school’s theatre director, Paul Kelsey, and learn how you can license all the scenes, settings and incredible moments from the Broadway production in this Scenic Projections package.

As part of our ongoing partnership with projection designer Aaron Rhyne (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, Anastasia, Bonnie & Clyde, The Sound Inside), we are delighted to make his Anastasia projections available to license to the amateur and secondary professional market worldwide. Our process with designs such as Rhyne's involves the painstaking process of adapting individual scenic and animated elements (such as the ghostly dance scene, or the amazing railway travel sequence) to make them script-accurate and by simplifying their complex nature into easy-to-use still images and videos for use through our app, Stage Player.

To ensure our script-accurate promise, we perform real-world tests on the materials through our pilot program. For Anastasia, we were delighted to work with Paul Kelsey at Madison Fine Arts Academy, Indiana. It's through the detailed and insightful feedback from theatre makers like Paul that we can make a product that is beautiful and incredibly useful. We had great fun with this show and were encouraged that a school could present this musical safely during the pandemic. You can explore the instagram takeover here.

We had a brief chat with Paul after the performances to capture his experience.


Broadway Media: What led you to choose using projections for your production of Anastasia?  

Paul Kelsey: We have recently acquired a new 24' x 11' LED screen, which allows us to use projections. With projections, we can have so many more locations and effects than we could with traditional drops. Projections doesn't just serve the production quality – they are also so much easier to deal with (hanging, folding, shipping, etc.)

BM: The joy of projections is how flexible they are. They really can adapt to your production management style and calendar. Can you walk us through your process of integrating projections into your production?

Paul: For me, the projections served as an enhancement to our traditional scenic design.  We still build physical elements like doors and furniture for our cast to interact with. During production, we use the physical elements early in rehearsal and then add projections during tech week, which usually falls about two weeks before we open so we can fine tune the lighting with the LED wall. Scenic challenges such as the bridge, the palatial windows, and changes in time and weather were solved with Scenic Projections. My favorite moment was the sunset over Paris at the end of Act One.

The cast of Anastasia: The Musical. Madison Fine Arts Academy, IN.

BM: How did this Aaron Rhyne’s Scenic Projections for Anastasia influence your show vision?  

Paul: Aaron Rhyne's designs add so much atmosphere and are so embedded in the stage musical that we ended up sticking close to the original production design.

BM: You've used physical drops often in the past – was this experience different? 

Paul: It's so EASY!  No hanging the drops, then removal, then folding and shipping.  I was also always worried something would happen to the physical drops. I would absolutely recommend using Scenic Projections to anyone, and will continue to use them myself. If you have access to the technology, you will never go back.

BM: What was your experience working with the team at Broadway Media?  

Paul: Their imagery is the most artistic and they are great to work with.  Despite obvious challenges of piloting a show during the pandemic and their creative team working from home, we all managed to pull it together in time!

BM: What was it like for your production team to work with projections?

Paul: It offers another tech option for students to learn with and for the lighting team to design with.  The numerous images inspires them to be artistic with their design for each scene and song change.


Learn how you can license Aaron Rhyne's Anastasia The Musical projections here: Learn more.

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