Jeff Smith noon, March 8
I was kicking around Old Town the other day and stopped to get a cookie at a coffee stand next to The Old Town Theater.
The barista mentioned she had seen the current show, Tragedy of the Commons and really liked the lighting effects. In fact, she said she was thinking about putting lights in behind her curtains to change the mood of her home.
I’m not so sure about that but I am sure that competent lighting enhances a show.
When electric lights became available, even composers saw the opportunity. Puccini's famous humming chorus from Madama Butterfly was written specifically because he could have electric lights simulate a sunset on stage.
Lighting not only creates mood and times of day but it also hides a multitude of sins in the set construction.
A set might look beat up and worn out under work lights but once the lighting cues are established, suddenly it looks magnificent—I hate to say this, but a beat up and worn out actor can also look good in the right lighting.
Often times a performer has no idea the effect that the lighting creates because it isn’t evident while on stage.
I won’t pretend to know all that goes into lighting design but it is a part of theater craft that takes both technical ability and artistic insight.