To mark the bicentennial of the outbreak of the War of 1812, Toronto's Water's Edge Festivals & Events mounted a four-day immersive-interactive theatrical extravaganza outdoors at the city's lakefront Harbour Square Park last June. Entitled The Wharf at York: where folklore gets Interactive, the production featured three dramatic historical scenes interspersed with 14 vignettes enacted within and among the surrounding audience, all seamlessly blended with period-accurate activities designed to maximize audience involvement and participation between dramatic scenes.

The Wharf at York

The soundscape and live actors’ dialog had to be distributed in various combinations that changed over time to the loudspeakers on the ship, along the rear fence, and throughout Harbour Square Park. This called for a dynamically programmable routing matrix.

Crowd at the Wharf

Further, it was crucial that we be able to direct the audience’s attention quickly to the focus of the action, wherever that might be at any given moment, given the potential for audience members to become distracted from the drama or unaware of its imminent resumption after an interval. So instead of simply distributing the actors’ wireless microphone signals to every loudspeaker for the sake of complete coverage, we used source-oriented reinforcement techniques to ensure that the actors would be localized more or less accurately and immediately.

Wharf wide shot

Making it all possible was the TiMax2 SoundHub's unique combination of routing, signal processing, zone control with music and effects playback, and spatialization and show control. Full story here.