Department of Theatre Builds Digital Production Archive

By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
April 20, 2004

The Department of Theatre’s production archive features a recorded history of the theatre productions at UCR since 1954 and includes photos accompanied with a list of the productions each academic year. Utilizing scanning technology and the assistance of CHASS College Computing (C3), the archive has been converted into a digital format with a higher quality presentation and is now available on-line for public viewing at the Department of Theatre’s web-site.

According to Department of Theatre Production Manager and Lecturer in Design Marc Longlois, the multi-purpose archive creates a visual showcase for the production work of the Department of Theatre as well as a visual record of the productions. It is also intended “to credit the work of the creative teams for their work on the productions,” Longlois added.

The archive has been maintained in an “analog” form since the formation of the department in the 1950’s. Currently the archive features text information for the past 20 years and then four production shots from each show for the last 10 years. Theatre Department Art Director and Lecturer Kevin Morrissey did the digital editing from among thousands of photographs to deliver the selected shots to the C3 team. Longlois commented about the hard work put into the archive, “We have had to bring photographic materials of all sorts together and convert them to an acceptable digital format.”

Currently the photos on the archive begin from 1992-1993 dating back through the 1980-1981 productions. Production Manager Longlois added, “We have a vast archive of production materials which we hope to scan and add to the archive. But the most practical plan seemed to work backwards from the present since the digital format was already being used for those photos.”

At the present time, the Department hopes to further expand the “current season” area to add pictures just before the productions open. In the future, the Department hopes to access the archive as a library so that random pictures will appear on every page of the Theatre department website.

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