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Festival Lighting Design

When one thinks about designing lighting for a festival, for multiple plays, it becomes easy to move toward a rep plot. In New York City, every festival situation I've ever encountered works that way. The house or a festival designer devises a repertory light plot based on areas. Those are lit with as many of the fundamental lighting angles as can be arranged and everyone works from those confines.

I wouldn't be working on the Crown Point Festival if that alone were to be the arrangement. As designers I think it is incumbent on us to do as much as we possibly can and collaborate as much as possible as artists. I wouldn't work on a festival that only allowed me the resources to accomplish a simple rep, cue it and move on. Rather, I am designing each play as though it were standing alone. The only common thread among them being the cyc and scrim upstage which all but one play will be using.

Still though, common threads among these shows will inevitably creep in. Some might even be of my own creation. One of the design devices I am looking to employ as often as the festival directors are interested in, is the idea of actors physically changing their own lighting. This can meet anything from booms on dollys to practicals to calling for lighting changes. It is a way to give the audience that much more to believe in. It is , I think, a way to lay bear all of the tricks and give the audience no reason not to believe in what you have presented. I hope to make it a common thread as often as possible.

More later, had some great design meetings this week with Tom Ridgely of Persians and Stephen Brackett of Ixomia. I'll be sharing some images and design ideas on those shows over the weekend.

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