The Caravan Stage Company is a non-profit theatre company that tours and performs on the deck and rigging of a 30 metre sailing ship. The shows are original experimental operas with aerial dance, large puppets and video projections that tell a story of political, social and environmental themes. In its latest show – ‘Nomadic Tempest’ – a Barco HDX-W20 projector is used to display a continuous panorama of originally designed video graphics, animations, and images during the vibrant performance. Tempest’s Cyclone 8000 enclosure is used to guard against dust, sand, salt, water, and other damaging particulates, and ensures the projector is ready to perform come show time.
“The ship is the stage for the show, the audience is seated outdoors, and much of the equipment is outside and must be able to resist the elements,” says Will Young, video artist for Caravan Stage Company. “Before using the Tempest enclosure we would have to move the large Barco projector to and from the ship for each show. This was a precarious task and offered regular opportunities for the projector to end up in the sea! Now our show set up is easier and we don’t need to panic if the sky clouds over. We had some issues with the enclosure initially due to the fact we had not installed the projector in it correctly. With excellent help from Tempest tech support we fixed the issue and now it runs like a dream.”
The production is performed on the 90 foot Amarazee Ship and includes actors, dancers, musicians, and aerialists. ‘Nomadic Tempest’ focusses on the theme of climate change with parts of the production spoken in five different languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Indigenous Salish. It tells a tale of four monarch butterflies from disparate corners of the globe, displaced by climate change, and searching for a new home. The projected content includes a profusion of sky-river images simulating the flight paths of the butterflies gliding above the Earth.
“The video is front projected on a huge semi-transparent scrim net which is hung in front of the ship (around 80` screen width),” adds Will. “This allows us to have imagery appear to float in front of the stage and performers behind. The video is a combination of pre rendered video, live generated & manipulated CGI, and live processed camera feeds.”
Cyclone is constructed from heavy gauge aluminium and stainless steel, and epoxy powder-coated for a long, maintenance-free life. Exhaust doors on outdoor Cyclone models open when the enclosure fans are running and close automatically when not in use, further protecting the interior from windblown particulates. Tempest’s Goldilocks™ Operating System (patents pending) ensures the air temperature inside the enclosure is just right, removing heat from the projector when the lamp is on or when the enclosure is heated by the sun. Goldilocks tracks temperature and humidity 24/7, keeping relative humidity inside your enclosure just right by using heaters to raise the air temperature when needed, and adapting constantly to prevent deadly condensation.