Xanadu:Jason Bowden


Jason Bowden
Media Designer | Content Creator

October 2021

Xanadu was the first musical back at The College Conservatory of Music after 20 months. The musical is based on the movie Xanadu, which has become a cult classic. The show includes many moving parts such as the 3 foot wide disco ball, actors on roller skates, and a large flying pegasus.

What drew you to this project?

In the best way, Xanadu is all over the place. One minute you’re in a scene chilling at Venice Beach and then the next minute you’re watching Zeus, the supreme god and ruler of Olympus, learn a valuable lesson. A show of this nature has many different twists, turns, and possibilities, so I knew that it would be a fun show to work on.

Do you think of your work as creative, technical or somewhere in between?

I would describe my role as somewhere in between. A majority of my time is spent figuring out the logistics of the projector shots, which can be challenging in a theatre production. When proposing projector placement for a musical, there seems to always be some speaker or lineset in the way, so it is very important to be adaptable. Once the hard technical part is figured out, I can then start working on how the show is going to look and feel.

How do you describe your work to people not in our industry?

When working in theatre, it can sometimes be hard to explain the full scope of what I do. In most cases, the goal is to bring focus to a performer or support the flow of a story, so the technical elements are not what people are actually supposed to be thinking about. I usually just explain that I use lighting and projectors to emphasis a mood or environment within a production.

This show helped me understand how important it is to be able to adapt in a live production. Technical difficulties can be out of your control, but being adaptable and having a backup plan can help you get control back.
Jason Bowden
Media Designer | Content Creator

How did you pull this project back from the brink of certain disaster?

After close to a week of troubleshooting a problem that I was having with the media server, I had to make the decision to change to a different media software in order to get the show up. This required me to have to re-map my surfaces and I also had to re-render my content into a format that was supported by the new server. This was a tough call to make because I had to take a few steps backward in order to move forward and get the show up on time.

Jason will be graduating in the Spring with a BFA in Lighting Design and Technology at CCM in Cincinnati. Through his time at CCM he has narrowed his focus to screens and media design.