Design Journey, Part II

If you’re just joining us, I’m lighting a local performance of The Drowsy Chaperone. I’ve been blogging my thoughts and experiences as a professional lighting designer. Click here to read from the beginning!

Well, the adventure continues.

We’ve had two production meetings so far and this latest one really brought up how much the scenery transforms throughout the show. We came to a general agreement that as the experience continues, The Man’s apartment becomes more and more transformable to the point where the apartment can completely go away, allowing for The Drowsy Chaperone environment to take over.

There was also a discussion about how well-adorned or how fancy The Man’s apartment is. I brought up the point that I think he went through a nasty divorce that really drained his emotions and his pocket book. While he is living in a large studio apartment in New York City, it shouldn’t be an expensive one. Perhaps a rent control that he inherited. The furniture is from his Mom or perhaps Good Will. Certainly the record player is no fancy electronic device.

From a lighting point of view we did discuss The Man moving in and out of the reality in his apartment, and the world of The Drowsy Chaperone. I did bring up the point that many Broadway shows put everyone in a followspot at all times simply to guarantee visibility to the performers. I don’t want to handle this show that way. The angle in this theatre for their followspot positions are very low and are great if you want the “Gypsy Rose Lee” look. That’s what I call the big white circle behind the performer followspot look. That will be great in The Drowsy Chaperone during an obvious production number but not good during any other time. So I would say there will be very few if any times that The Man will be in one.

We also looked at the apron area where we need to hang a lighting position. The next thing is to figure out how to get some hanging points on an L-shaped, very substantial, piece of steel. The Set Designer/TD made a great point that if necessary we can always put a piece of square stock in the “L” and then we have a square piece to clamp around. I know the great people at Light Source will be helpful in figuring this part out!

That’s it for today – more as it comes!


The journey continues in Part III!


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