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Grant will enhance Linfield theatre productions

A grant to purchase state-of-the-art multimedia and lighting equipment will allow the Linfield College theatre program to broaden the type of productions it is able to present.

The E. L. Wiegand Foundation awarded $46,000 to the Linfield program to purchase lighting and multimedia equipment that will allow the college to perform contemporary works that the department is currently not equipped to produce.

The scenes in many contemporary plays use the latest in technological innovations and often blur the lines between photography and other visual arts, film and theatre. Influenced by both television and film, contemporary playwrights often construct their plays with multimedia in mind, incorporating multiple settings and using projections to suggest a sense of place. This new equipment will allow Linfield to perform contemporary works that they would otherwise not be equipped to present.

In addition, the multimedia capabilities will give designers and directors the opportunity to stage a large number of musicals that require multiple settings.

“The use of projections can provide creative solutions for suggesting numerous scenic locations within a single production,” said Brenda DeVore Marshall, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts. “The new equipment will increase the number of contemporary plays we can produce as well as the scope of musical theatre experiences available to Linfield students and the McMinnville community.”

The new technology will also enhance the possibilities for innovative interpretations of theatre classics as well as new performance modes, Marshall added. “The use of multimedia in theatre pushes the boundaries of traditional concepts of theatre, encouraging students and faculty to engage in new artistic challenges.”

This grant was awarded to Linfield College by the trustees of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, established in 1982 in Reno, Nev., to support arts and culture, civic and community affairs, education, and health in Nevada, and surrounding states.