Immersive Design Experience - Christopher Newport University Immersive Design Experience - Christopher Newport University
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Immersive Design Experience

June 19 - 21, 2019
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Technical theater and stage design sit at the crossroads of art and engineering and are uniquely suited to provide a creative experience and outlet to students. These fields use cutting-edge technologies to create artistic works using advanced digital processes and creative engineering solutions, and can be a springboard into meaningful experiences across a number of disciplines.

The Department of Theater and Dance has developed the Immersive Design Experience (IDX), an intensive, hands-on technical theater/design program for high school students in Hampton Roads and neighboring cities.

This studio-based program will allow students to "get their hands dirty" in the creative process. At IDX, students learn the processes behind the studio experience that connect the sciences, humanities, visual and performing arts. In an annually rotating curriculum covering topics such as computer-aided drafting, 3-D modeling, digital photo manipulation, and digital and traditional rendering techniques, participants will:

  • Work through engineering solutions to artistic endeavors
  • Analyze dramatic literature in its relation to visually creating and designing for the stage
  • Use artistic rendering skills to design theatrical experiences

The three-day program is led by Christopher Newport faculty and runs June 19-21, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (lunch included), in the Ferguson Center for the Arts. Apply today! Space is limited. The application deadline is April 1.

For more information, contact Dr. David Shuhy at

Immersive Design Experience is partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.


Course offerings subject to revision

Get your hands dirty creating, recording and editing sound. Students will learn the basics of capturing sound digitally, and then how to edit sound files both as single track sound files and in multi-track sessions using Audacity and Logic.

Develop your graphic design and illustration skills. Learn the basic drawing tools of Adobe Illustrator, and then use these to create detailed, scaled technical drawings of objects for presentation purposes.

Express your creativity by sketching and drawing in the digital world. Learn the skills and flexibility of creating digital renderings in Corel Painter using Wacom digitizer tablets. You will learn how to draw, edit and manipulate computer-generated sketches for costume design.

Explore the world of 3-D design and modeling by learning the creative potential of modeling in Vectorworks. Develop skills useful for theater design, engineering and video game design by learning to model 3-D objects, apply textures and lighting to create computer-rendered scenes.

Come explore the world of entertainment lighting through our intensive summer workshop: Making Art out of Light. Through a combination of tutorials and hands on experience, students will gain an understanding of the control and use of modern theatrical/entertainment lighting fixtures and consoles, including: moving lights (smart lights), LED color changing fixtures, computerized controls systems, and advanced show control systems. This culminates in the collaborative creation of light shows set to music in the style of great rock touring acts. Prepare for an en-light-ening summer experience!

For the beginner, this session will introduce the best practices and processes of drafting in CAD using Vectorworks. Participants will learn to create templates, understand the use of tools, common editing and modification practices, and how to create design and construction drawings ready for print.

More advanced learners will also learn how to expand their 2-D skills into the the 3-D world. This portion of the course will explore the basics of 3-D modeling, advanced form creation and creation of lighting and textures for introductory digital rendering.

For Teachers

Lighting Console Petting Zoo

June 20, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
TheaterCNU Light Lab
Ferguson Center for the Arts

Get your hands on some of the latest and most affordable lighting consoles available today. Immersive Design Experience and Barbizon Lighting will host a lighting console “petting zoo” for area teachers. Come learn the look and feel of the different consoles that are emerging in the marketplace, the different philosophies behind their operation, and find new, budget-friendly options for your school. The products presented will specifically be geared toward realistic budgets for secondary educators.


Matthew Ishee
Lecturer, Department of Theater and Dance

Kathleen Jaremski
Associate Professor, Department of Theater and Dance

Dr. Dave Shuhy
Lecturer, Department of Theater and Dance

Alan Skees
Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Art and Art History

Maxwell Tfirn
Lecturer, Department of Music