POSITION: Set Designer, Projection Designer

DIRECTOR: David Furumoto

The University Theatre production, Velina Hasu Houston’s play TEA is a docudrama with the recordings of a group of Japanese “War Brides" life changing and suffering stories to exhibit and discuss the culture clashes and the wounds in much deeper social and psychological level that are so hard to heal.

Lighting Design by Ann Archbold

Costume Design by Gail Brassard

Technical Direction by Robert Wagner


The significance of this UT production was the opportunity of implementing the projection and digital video contents creation into the set design as my research and experimental project. Many of the challenges of making these digital videos were from the technical fields that requires extensive digital modeling, effects simulation and animation experience, which I believe belongs to the knowledge and skill set a scene designer should have in the 21st century, especially as both a professional and a teacher. This effort was strongly supported by the director David Furumoto in attempt to expand the vocabulary of theatrical storytelling.    


The projection setting used a 4’ X 6’ mirror as the reflector to compensate the size of the image on screen  due to the short distance between the RP screen and the back wall of the theatre. The digital projection “Mapping” was also applied to correct the distortion and to compose one large screen image with two projectors. The projection control and mapping application I used was QLAB.  


The show was set in three sided audience configuration with a Tatami at the center as the main performance area for the “current time” when the shoji screen doors were closed. All of the “memory” moments were using the downstage area with mostly focused lighting as the shoji screens opened and showing the video. 


The scenes with the most of the video effects and movies were rendered digitally as the storyboard for providing guidelines in the process of developing the digital video contents and the lighting effects.

A physical model was also created with a mini projector attached to demonstrate the projection effects.


The projection design for TEA had two categories :


•Historical photo images with added video effects such as zooming and panning

•Scenes needed to be created totally by digital movie making such as :

•The explosion in the show opening scene – digital explosion simulation

•The Cruise Ship scene and the Oath scene

1.Digital ship model building

2.Digital ocean water building and water reaction with ship simulation

3.Wind and flag simulation

4.The final segment composition, lighting and rendering

•The girls room scene

1.The digital room design and modeling

2.Digital wind and fabric reaction simulation

3.Digital bedding simulation

4.The final segment composition, lighting and rendering

•The smoke simulation in the final scene