During lockdown in 2021, Excelsia’s Bachelor of Dramatic Art students had the unique opportunity to collaborate with video artist Michaela Bartonova for their modern retelling of Macbeth.
Bartonova, who is based in the Czech Republic, and Director Fiona Gentle had previously worked together in Australia, and Director Gentle invited her to design a series of projected, animated sets for this production. Bartonova is an incredibly talented and versatile artist who has performed and exhibited throughout Europe and Scandinavia. The Czech Republic has a long history of puppetry and Bartonova started out as a puppet-maker and theatre-maker but is also a playwright, author, director, and visual/digital artist, developing the technique of creating digital sets live on stage, via her iPad.
During lockdown, Director Gentle and production students worked with Bartonova via Zoom, sharing ideas and concepts, and solving the daunting task of designing a show from across the world. She also took them on a virtual tour of her studio, showing them her artwork and puppets, and the Czech landscape outside her window. Bartonova attended Zoom rehearsals and even wished the students well on the opening night of Macbeth via video!
The show was a resounding success, and the projected images and animations created an incredible atmosphere and powerful allusions to the themes in Macbeth. Students had the opportunity to be part of an international collaboration and experience working with a respected and accomplished artist, and all have an open invitation to visit Bartonova in her home in the Czech Republic. Details and photos of the production can be viewed on the artist’s portfolio here, which has already received over 9,000 views across the world!
If you want to join Excelsia College’s Bachelor of Dramatic Art and be a part of cutting-edge productions, please enquire with us today.