Las Vegas, USA — Lighting and video designers working on and off Broadway were recognized at the inaugural Knight of Illumination Awards USA (KOI-USA) in Las Vegas on October 20, 2018. Broadway designers Jules Fisher, Peggy Eisenhauer, Tyler Micoleau, Finn Ross, and Adam Young, as well as dance/opera designers Al Crawford and Joe Levasseur were among those honored at a glittering ceremony and gala dinner at The Foundry at the SLS Hotel, during entertainment design tradeshow LDI2018.
The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges, which comprised David Rooney, theatre critic/Hollywood Reporter; Chris Jones, theatre critic, Chicago Tribune; Mark Swed, opera critic/LA Times; Deborah Jowitt, dance writer; Lauren Warnecke, dance critic/Chicago Tribune; Celia Ipiotis, Eye On The Arts. Lighting designer Clifton Taylor chaired the panel.
Founded in the UK in 2007, the Knight of Illumination Awards honor outstanding lighting and video design.
The following Broadway and New York-based designers that won in the theatre/dance/opera category were:
• Winner of the Altman Award for Plays:
Jules Fisher (Nine-time Tony Award winner) & Peggy Eisenhauer (Three-time Tony Award winner) for the lighting design of The Iceman Cometh:
“The Iceman Cometh has a particularly difficult task in conjuring up day and night in…a one-room bar. For instance, when soliloquies pop up, the light radiates around the individual without waking the rest…the lighting is a stealth instrument in underscoring the people whose search for meaning is clouded by insecurity.” — Celia Ipiotis
• Winner of the Robe Award for Musicals:
Tyler Micoleau for the lighting design of The Band’s Visit, for which he also won a 2018 Tony Award:
“Taking its cue from the musical itself, the lighting is delicate and evocative of sultry desert nights, but it also conveys the stillness that is essential to a show about waiting and yearning. A major emerging talent…the lighting does a lot of the heavy lifting for the design of this show.” — David Rooney
• Winner of the DTS Award for Projection Design:
Finn Ross (Tony Award winner for The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time) and Adam Young for the video design of Mean Girls:
“Rarely does a set made up almost entirely of video with only minimal physical components work so well. It enables the show to move briskly, changing scenes with the quick-cut rhythms of a movie, without sacrificing theatrical impact. The projections felt like the perfect visual correlation to the show’s insouciant teen spirit. The narrative of the show was carried into the projections, quick cuts that were almost cinematic.” — David Rooney
• Winner of the ETC Award for Dance:
Al Crawford for the lighting design of Victoria (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre)
“Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s Victoria for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre has been brilliantly lit by Al Crawford, especially in the ways in which he has collaborated with Luis Crespo’s three tall, barren trees, each of which is anchored to the stage floor by a single point (these ‘trees’ look in the video as if they’re made of white tape).” — Deborah Jowitt
• Winner of the Elation Award for Opera:
Joe Levasseur for the lighting design of Cellular Songs (Meredith Monk)
“Monk's Cellular Songs was singular in how the lighting design made visible on the floor the recurring projected video of hands pointing inward and outward, clenched and stretched. Blocks of white and red light, plus ghostly reflections of Monk's white clad women were integrated into the fabric of the production, forming as vital a character as any of Monk's performers.” — Celia Ipiotis
Production shots and winner videos are available on the Knight of Illumination Awards Facebook page.