IDEA Award Winner 2008
The Adding Machine
- George Brown, Director - Chair, Department of Theatre Arts, Bradley University
- Jim Ferolo, Art Director – Chair, Multimedia Program, Bradley University
- Chuck Ruch, Associate Provost of IRT, Bradley University
- Erich Keil, Scene and Lighting Designer, Bradley University
- Becki Arnold, Costume Designer, Bradley University
- Gerd Hauck, Chair - Department of Drama and Speech Communication University of Waterloo
- John Wayne Shafer, University of Central Florida Conservatory Theatre
During March 2007, Bradley University presented a fully mediatized production of Elmer Rice’s expressionistic play The Adding Machine that integrated virtual scenery, avatar performers, photographs, graphics, sound, recorded video, and broadcast video transmitted over multiple advanced networking systems. This extraordinary creative event encompassed the work of three universities, four outstanding artist/administrators, over 100 student collaborators from seven academic departments, a Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist, and an unprecedented array of the most sophisticated rendering and communication technology ever assembled for an undergraduate theatre production.
Bradley University, where around 2000 audience members watched the performance unfold, served as the creative center and primary performance venue for this production. Students, faculty and staff from the Department of Theatre Arts and the Multimedia Program at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois collaborated with colleagues over a thousand miles away at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida to develop and present this innovative production. Rehearsals and production meetings were facilitated through various advanced videoconferencing technologies, while the actual performances used Digital Video Transport System (DVTS) technology.
The Adding Machine would not have been possible without the extensive use of advanced networks. While a single performance itself lasted only two hours, the production rehearsed 4 hours a day, six days a week for five weeks and the production ran for 6 performances. More than 150 hours of rehearsals, technical detailing and performances relied on advanced networking that demanded throughout the process 120 megabits of continuous bandwidth.