Thea Blog

08 September 2020

Thea Awards Digital Case Studies report - Session 3: Live Shows & Thea Classic

Thea Awards Digital Case Studies are presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), the global nonprofit membership association for the creators of compelling experiences and places. The case studies sessions explore and celebrate the recipients of TEA's prestigious, annual Thea Awards. Click for more info about Thea Awards Digital Case Studies and how to buy tickets. #TEAtheas #TEAdigital

Report for TEA by Judith Rubin

TEA Thea Awards Case Studies 2020 - Block 3: Live Shows and Thea Classic

The three projects featured in this case study session - Pageant of the Masters, The Legend of the Gods, and Le Premier Royaume - are all part of the slate of 26th annual TEA Thea Awards recipients, with each jointly presented by the project owner and a member or members of the creative team. The moderator was Phil Hettema of The Hettema Group.

As Robert Niles wrote in his excellent summary on Theme Park Insider, "even the biggest theme park productions can't match the scale of some of the great live shows around the world," and live shows were spotlighted in the third block of the continuing Thea Awards Digital Case Studies series, which runs through November 2020 with all sessions available on-demand.



Pageant of the Masters

Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach, CA, USA (Thea Classic Award)

Presenters: Diane "Dee" Challis Davy, Director/Producer and Sharbie Higuchi, Marketing/PR Director, Pageant of the Masters

The Pageant inspires and exposes people to artwork that they may have otherwise never been aware of, through a technique called Tableaux Vivant or Living Pictures, a unique combination of elements blending live performance, storytelling and the theater arts for an educational and entertaining experience that has been enjoyed by some 140,000 guests. This illusionary stage show has taken place every summer since 1933, recreating classical and contemporary art works in faithful detail. Each season more than 500 volunteers donate their skills and talent to make paintings come to life on four stages surrounded by a canyon in a 90-minute program that includes a professional narrator and orchestra accompaniment. 

Diane Challis Davy talked about the exacting application of theatrical techniques in creating 
Pageant of the Masters living reproductions of great art. But, she said, in response to moderator
Phil Hettema's question about what keeps guests returning year after year, "The Pageant
touches the imagination - acting out our fantasies of stepping into the artist's world of the painting."


Pageant of the Masters productions include contributions from many volunteers who participate
year after year. Says Sharbie Higuchi "Our youngest volunteer is 5 years old and our eldest is 80+."



The Legend of the Gods

The Legend of the Gods, Huaxiacheng Tourism Scenic Area, Weihai Huaxia City, Shandong, China (Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Live Show Spectacular)

Presenter: Bingo Tso, A.C.E. on behalf of Huaxia Cultural Tourism Group

The Legend of the Gods - created by Shandong Huaxia Cultural Tourism Group - delivers a phenomenal theatrical vision married to world-class production and execution. In a vehicle shaped and themed as a boat, guests experience a live, multimedia spectacular in an outdoor setting, visiting seven distinct scenes of beauty and amazement - with 200 performers, animatronic figures, live horses, pyrotechnics, LED projection walls, fountains, special effects, a 5,000-ton waterfall, an erupting volcano and more. But the show - which forms the centerpiece of the Huaxiacheng Tourism Scenic Area - could not exist were it not for the 16-year commitment and dedication of resources by Huaxia Chairman Xia Chunting to reclaim and restore thousands of acres of mining quarry.

Bingo Tso explained the ecological restoration, at a colossal scale,
of what is now the scenic spot and setting for Legend of the Gods in Weihai, China.
Eleven million trees were planted in the process.



Le Premier Royaume

Le Premier Royaume, Grand Parc du Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, France (Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Attraction)

Presenter: Nicolas de Villiers, President, Puy du Fou

The world-renowned Grand Parc du Puy du Fou is well-known for immersing its visitors in the rich and vibrant living history of France. This new attraction, “Le Premier Royaume” (“The First Kingdom”) is a multi-sensory walkthrough experience set in fifth-century France, in which guests journey through the history and legend of the Frankish king Clovis. The 18-minute show leads guests through 14 scenes, each centered around a critical stage of Clovis’ life. Le Premier Royaume beautifully and seamlessly blends modern technology, highly immersive environments, and the park’s signature, live performance roots to craft a tangible world of legend and lore, in which to tell an evergreen story: Heroes Are Eternal.

"Listen to your instinct and intuition - not too much to your brain - listen to the child inside yourself,
the child you are, stay the child as you create and you will find
exactly what people are expecting, and then it works." Nicolas de Villiers



The TEA Thea Awards Case Studies can be attended live or on-demand; one ticket buys the complete series of seven blocks or sessions, showcasing the projects, people and technologies being honored as 26th Annual TEA Thea Awards recipients. Each session includes live networking and Q&A sessions. The conference platform and app are available 24/7 to ticketholders to view the case studies and use the networking tools. The sessions are being attended by hundreds of themed entertainment industry professionals and students from around the world, making the most of the series to gain professional development, industry education and networking opportunities.



See all speakers, sponsors and production credits for TEA Thea Awards Digital Case Studies


Production Credits for TEA Corporate Sponsors

  • Joe Fox, Alcorn McBride - Technical Manager
  • Ian McDaniel, Good Theory Studios - Associate Technical Manager
  • Dave Martin, DemoDave Production - Sponsorship Video Production
  • Chris Crowe, VCI Event Technology - Producer
  • Jeff Killian, VCI Event Technology - Editor
  • Nick Davies, VCI Event Technology - Editor
  • Dave DaCosta, VCI Event Technology - Technical Director
  • Jack Byers, VCI Event Technology - Event Technology Engineer
  • Becky Moore, VCI Event Technology - Event Technology Engineer

TEA Production Staff

  • Jennie Nevin - COO & Executive Producer
  • Tammie Richards - Director of Events
  • Erica Schwehr - Director of Operations, Art Direction
  • Judy Rubin - PR, Publications & Social Media
  • Christine Mack - Associate Event Producer, Help Desk
  • Christy Nakada - Marketing Associate, Help Desk
  • Alexa Esparza - Member Services, Help Desk

Posted by Judith Rubin



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