By Design: Paule Constable Lights Angels In America

Angels in America

How does one light the first Broadway revival of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play from the 1990's that resonates as strongly today as it did then? Live Design chats with Paule Constable, the double Tony Award-winning LD (The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Nighttime and War Horse), who was nominated for a Tony again this year for her remarkable work lighting the two-part Angels in America (Millennium and Perestroika), which opened in March 2018 at the Neil Simon Theatre. With a total of 11 Tony Awards for this revival, in addition to Constable, all of the designers have been recognized including Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce for scenic design, Nicky Gillibrand for costume design, and Ian Dickinson for sound design.

"The design of Part One takes place mainly on a triple revolve with a series of moving walls on them," explains Constable. "The idea is that the world is urban—defined by walls—moving quickly. It means I have to animate this, but that the context is created by the scenery. As the writing breaks down—as the walls crack open and millennium approaches—the revolves go away until we are left in a dark looming environment where everything is defined through light. So we travel from a scenically defined revolving world to a blank sheet of paper—to purgatory—where everything is created with light…"

Check out more coverage on the designs of the 2018 Tony Award nominees.

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