One huge element that really brings Cinderella together and makes it the beautiful production it has become is all of the fantastic projections. From a forest to a cottage, and even the castle steps, these projections help set the scenes and the mood for the entire show. They bring the wonderfully impossible magic of Cinderella to life right here on our very own Renaissance stage. We have none other than the wonderful Ryan Shreve, our digital content coordinator, and leading man in Cinderella, to thank for these phenomenal projections.
Q: You are known in the community as a lead actor on the stage. Some may not know your talents in other areas. For the readers, explain how you picked up videography and graphic design and talk about your business and goals with it, and how this naturally meshed with your acting work at the Renaissance.
Ryan: I started doing video and graphic design shortly after college, it was something I picked up off a couple of YouTube videos. My friend needed help with his business doing social media and graphic design. The skills I learned then have transferred over to my own business over the past 6 to 7 years. My business is called Fyrebird Media where I do all kinds of things like social media and marketing for authors, broadway producers, photographers, etc. I also do video editing, content creation, and graphic design. A couple of years ago I did some graphic design work for Hunchback creating promos for the show and that transformed into me doing social media at the Ren. Since then I’ve worked closely with the Ren, managing social media, and creating all sorts of digital content.
Q: Cinderella will have the most complex projections, lighting, and sound to-date of any production. Is that statement true? If so, explain.
Ryan: Yes, we have a really talented team on the production side currently. With all of our combined skill sets, we were able to take things to the next level and get new equipment to make some cool visuals and effects that make a magical performance.
Q: What do you envision for Cinderella?
Ryan: What I envision for Cinderella is that the audience will see how we have evolved and how our safety precautions have improved and to go tell their friends this is a safe magical experience.
Q: Where did you get the idea to use projections for this show?
Ryan: In 2019 I went to New York and saw Frozen on Broadway and I was so enamored with the complex projections for that show and I wanted to bring that same magic to the Ren stage. And then during quarantine, I was able to get in contact with Fin Ross who did the projections for Frozen. We talked about my vision for Cinderella and what was possible with the equipment we had and he affirmed ideas!
Q: At-home streaming – this is another new endeavor for the Renaissance. What can an audience expect?
Ryan: We started a process very similar to streaming Cinderella during our backlot series that had really helped us improve on the process used for our at-home streaming option. The audience can expect the same great quality show they would have seen live but now it’s in their living room!
Q: How are you going to balance being one of the leads in Cinderella with what is necessary for projections and the at-home streaming?
Ryan: We have a really talented team who helps in the tech booth and run the projections during the show. Ryan Shealy and Leiah Lewis were able to help me by recording the shows each night so that I could edit a great product for you to view in your homes.
To experience these wonderful projections come to see Cinderella: The Broadway Musical November 20 – 21 (Sunday, November 22 is SOLD OUT) with an Encore Performance on December 5, or stream it at home! Or, if you are really daring, do both. You will be glad you did!
The author of this article is intern Christian Shepherd. “I love the arts and anything to do with performing. I am so excited to have an opportunity to intern at the Renaissance during my senior year and learn everything that makes a Non-Profit theatre run. It has been a great experience so far and I hope to learn so much!”