Always read your rehearsal reports. You never know when this kind of stuff will show up.
96. Jesus may re-enter as ‘fat Jesus’. Can there be a discussion about this in the next few days?
74. Can Sally’s disembodied head be turned into a puppet so that it can sing?
364. A remote controlled whoopee cushion has been added. This prop has been provided by the actor.
359. The Brownie’s fangs can be cut.
90. PK worked with cast members on hair pulls, strangles, kicking, as well as whip training.
188. Would it be possible to place a handle on the inside of the Turkish Bath door, somewhere near the middle of the door, in order to allow it to be easily pulled shit from the inside?
296. We are estimating that we will use three starlight mints per night as the Hunchback’s teeth.
15. Auditions went smoothly this weekend, several people came out.
One of the basic tools of lighting is color. When we use color, we are on a continuum from deep saturated hues to the catchall “No Color” designation. When we design big flashy musicals, or high concept abstract pieces, the use of saturated color is wholly appropriate. For example, see some of these production shots:
"Almost, Maine" College of Charleston, 2011
"Reefer Madness" University of Iowa, 2009
"Lost Sharks" by Kevin Artigue, University of Iowa Gallery Series, 2009
In many ways, this kind of stuff is what a color-loving designer like me lives for. But ignoring the other end of the continuum does a disservice to a huge sector of so-called “realistic” production. Is the answer then, when we present Shaw or O’Neill or Chekhov, to plot the lights with “NC” in the color column? While going naked in the gel frame is sometimes the right choice for a production (I’ve made this choice many times to great effect), it is important to realize that it is still a color choice.
Check out this ad which has been playing on television a lot lately.
What is really striking about this ad are the vastly different definitions of ‘white light’ in the various sections of the ad. During the first nine seconds of the minute long piece we go from a straw color in the opening shot (Image #1), almost immediately to a pink-hued key from the window in the left of the frame, and then, with a switch off of the light, to a pretty lavender dominant fill look (while also pulling the key light from the left to the right of the frame for the first time- check out the very ‘blue’ white light of the practical in the far right of the frame versus the much warmer amber practical in the middle of the frame of shot #3)- Try to ignore the sloppy cueing of the lightswitch shift and pay attention specifically to the color change- that’s a topic for another blog entry:
Image 1: Opening shot- straw colored key
Image 2: shift to pink from window
Image 3: Lightswitch out, shift key to practicals from right, dominant lavender fill
Not to be left out, the ad then shifts to a series of greenish tints, including a cyan backlight in image #4.
Image 4: Cyan glow from the kitchen
In theatrical lighting, it has become common to use CTB (Color Temperature Blue) color correction to present no color ‘daylight’, and the ad gives us a glimpse of that as well (Image #5, keying from the window), but only a glimpse as we shift quickly to the first outdoor scene of the ad (Image #6), pushed significantly to the amber realm of the spectrum, but a different amber than we’ve experienced in the minute so far. This is an emotional color shift that helps to reflect the ‘autumn of life’ punctuation of the ad itself.
Image 5: "Daylight Blue"
Image 6: The warm amber autumn of life
So, going into a project in which “color isn’t important”, keep in mind the full spectrum of “white” light, and make your choices accordingly!
My first production at College of Charleston was Almost, Maine, by John Cariani. The play was presented in the Emmett Robinson Theatre in October 2011.
Director: Evan Parry
Set Design: Hannah Strickland
Costume Design: Becca Hopkins
Lighting Design: Paul Collins
Cast: Haley Barfield, David Beckett, Cameron Christensen, Corinne Crawford, Meg Fannin-Buckner, Ryan Gunning, Kaitlin Lieck, Lauren Lonergan, Baker Powell, Celeste Riddle, Patrick Ruff, Kurt Sauer and Robert Townsend.