Hungry is a thought-provoking play written and directed by Aubrey Sekhabi, artistic director of the State Theatre in Pretoria. The play is part of a theatre event that originated in Hamburg Germany and will run consecutively in 10 countries, among others Brazil, India and Burkina Faso. The theme is hunger and each of the countries could interpret the concept as it wished and according to pressing local issues. The play deals with issues such as genetically modified crops, famine, waste, and food security, to name a few.

photo Sanmari Marais-web

In presenting Hungry at the State Theatre in May and June 2014, Aubrey approached Wilhelm Disbergen of Yellow Bunny Productions to do the production and lighting design. In February Wilhelm had attended the Hippo School (see article elsewhere in this edition) and decided to invest in a Green Hippo Rackoon. Hungry was his first opportunity to put it through its paces. "The Rackoon is a powerful tool that adds an amazing dimension to theatre productions locally. I was able to combine a live feed from an HD camera and specify how and where this image is projected live.” By using a single Christie Lx605 projector Wilhelm was able to split the projection to project on either the floor, or the plastic curtain, or both, independently or simultaneously. With the Region Mapper function, he was also able to project onto a table top whilst another projection was running alongside on the larger area of the stage.

photo Sanmari Marais2-web

“Other amazing functions are creating masks and the ability to blur edges, so projections fade at the periphery, rather than the clean, crisp lines we have come to expect when using projected images. These images and effects can off course be moved around and keystoned, so that a 'Necklacing’ scene can be an actor, with a very contained fire projection cast upon him, thus creating a dramatic effect”.

Wilhelm feels the Rackoon is helping to revive the struggling theatre industry and bring it in line with best practices international. Wilhelm founded Yellow Bunny in 2010 with the express purpose of producing meaningful and provocative pieces, rather than mainstream theatre works. In 2013 he produced The Testament of Mary, a controversial retelling of the Gospel. With the versatile Rackoon in Wilhelm’s arsenal theatregoers can look forward to many more imaginative, visual feasts on South Africa’s’ stages.

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