- by Jacob Coakley
BRIDGEPORT, CT—Pip’s Island debuted in New York last fall and created an immersive theatre performance for kids ages 4-10. The show allowed children and their families to journey through 12 different environments, exploring the spaces and interacting with characters. Josh Scherr and the team at Global Scenic Services, Inc., built the wildly different set pieces to enthrall the audience.
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Duncan Northern, Production Supervisor of New York City-based Tinc Productions, stated, “This very large and ambitious project, I believe the only one of its kind in the country, was built through the collaboration of experienced and innovative production and design teams. Global Scenic Services was an integral part in building the framework of the entire 11,500 square foot island and many of the scenic elements.”
Global Scenic Services, Inc., Project Manager Josh Scherr, explained, “Engineering and building 3-dimensional scenery that was often tactile, and always safe for the audience to move around, was a creative challenge. There is an array of varied height walls, scenes of different environs, lights, sounds, fog and bubble machines to create different experiences.” The Island is entered when the young audience unlocks the mysterious tree portal to step onto the shores of the fantastic Pips Island.
“GSSI’s challenge was to make not just flat scenery but a completely immersive tactile environment. The children interact with woven felt brambles, and climb over giant wood tree roots. Working with the vision of designer John Coyne, GSSI created an organic and dramatic context in which the Pips Island story takes place. We are proud that the end results look and feel right to our client – and to the audience,” stated Scherr.
The producers of the show Rami and Rania Ajami stated, “We were very happy to work with GSSI. They thought outside the box and worked with us creatively to come up with new and innovative sets."
Global Scenic Services, Inc. (GSSI) is a leading provider of scenery design, automation and manufacturing services for theatrical productions, fashion shows, and special events around the world. The GSSI portfolio includes top-tier Broadway productions How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hand to God, fashion events such as Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and television shows as varied as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and NBC's Peter Pan Live.
Pip’s Island is the first fully-immersive live experience for families. It is an expansive, character-driven world of exploration, imagination and delight, where children take control of the narrative. There are 12 magnificent sets to explore, live actors, magical creatures, 9 foot tall puppets, and exciting and educational activities that engage and empower children aged 4-10. Island’s comprehensive narrative is poised to be seamlessly deployed across multiple media platforms, and to become a major player in family entertainment.