UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Life and a lover : lighting an emotional landscape Huizinga, Sharon 2012

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
24-ubc_fall_2012_huizinga_sharon.pdf [ 2.93MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 24-1.0072811.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0072811-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0072811-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0072811-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0072811-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0072811-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0072811-source.json
Full Text
24-1.0072811-fulltext.txt
Citation
24-1.0072811.ris

Full Text

LIFE AND A LOVER Lighting an Emotional Landscape by SHARON HUIZINGA BA Theatre, University of Wyoming 1998  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Theatre)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) May 2012  © Sharon Huizinga, 2012  Abstract The purpose of this thesis is to document and describe the design process and final lighting design for the University of British Columbia (UBC) production of Life and a Lover. This play was written by Natalie D. Meisner and provides a fictionalized account of Virgina Wolf’s love affair with Vita Sackville West, the subsequent writing of “Orlando,” and eventual suicide. The production opened March 9, 2000 in the Frederic Wood Theatre and ran until March 19, 2000. Kathleen Weiss directed the production and the creative team included Allison Greene (Set Designer), and Kathie Kibble (Costume Designer). Lighting  The Lighting Design was facilitated by Niven Pong (Assistant Designer),  Don  Griffiths  (Master  Electrician)  and  UBC  undergraduate theatre students. The thesis begins with a summary of the story of the play and a brief background of the historical figure of Virginia Woolf. It then describes the design process conceptually and technically, finally summarizing the effectiveness of the design and the design process, as well as my own experience of the production.  ii  Table of Contents ABSTRACT………………………………..………………………………………. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS…………………………………………………………… iii LIST OF FIGURES…………………………………………………………………. iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………..…………………………………. v CHAPTER 1: Introduction: The Story……………………………………… 1 CHAPTER 2: The Process: Conceptual……………………………….......... 3 CHAPTER 3: The Process: Discoveries ……………………………………... 10 CHAPTER 4: Conclusions ……………………………………………………... 18 CHAPTER 5: A Post Script on Design Process……..………………………. 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………..………………………………… 23 APPENDICES Appendix A:  Production Photographs ……………….......... 24  Appendix B:  Cue Synopsis………………….………………… 29  Appendix C:  The Wish List……………………………………… 36  Appendix D:  Instrument Inventory…………………………… 37  Appendix E:  Light Plot………………………..………………… 38  Appendix F:  Channel Hookup……………..………………… 39  Appendix G:  Instrument Schedule…………………………… 42  Appendix H:  Moving Light Hookup………..………………… 46  Appendix I:  Scroller String…………………..………………… 48  Appendix J:  Magic Sheet…………………...…………………49  Appendix K:  Sample Cue Sheet…………...………………… 50  Appendix L:  Contents of the Binder………………………… 51  iii  List of Figures Figure 1  “Daybreak” by Maxfield Parrish…………………………..... 4  Figure 2  “Ecstasy” by Maxfield Parrish………………………............... 5  Figure 3  “Arizona” by Maxfield Parrish……………………………..... 5  Figure 4  Set Photo- Stage Right……………………………………….. 7  Figure 5  Set Photo- Stage Left………………………………………..... 8  Figure 6  Set Photo- Full Downstage…………………………………. 8  Figure 7  6X9 and 6X12 ERS Comparison…………………………….. 11  Figure 8  Virginia’s suicide………………………………………………… 14  Figure 9  Vita reacts to the Virginia’s death………………………….. 14  Figure 10  The Café…………………………………………………………. 15  Figure 11  The Park………………………………………………………….. 16  Figure 12  Vita and Orlando exiled by Virginia……………………….. 17  iv  Acknowledgements I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Ron Fedoruk and Mr. Robert Gardiner for their long term support, to Ms. Susanne Hudson for her assistance to one who needed it and to Kate Weiss, Allison Green and Kathie Kibble for the opportunity to work on this production with such an outstanding creative team. I would also like to thank the following individuals and organizations: Mr. Don Griffiths, Mr. Ian Pratt, Mr. Niven Pong, Mr Jay Diamond, the electrics crew and the other faculty, staff and students in the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing, Karen and Philippe LeBillon, and John and Sara Huizinga.  v  CHAPTER I. Introduction: The Story Virginia Woolf was a celebrated English author and essayist who lived and wrote in the late 19th and early 20th century. She was part of an influential group of artists and writers known as The Bloomsbury Group and an important part of London’s literary community during the inter-war period. The Bloomsbury Group had a liberal attitude towards sex and gender identification and as such many of its members were engaged in very alternative lifestyles, which included open marriages, bisexuality, extramarital affairs and sapphism, to use the terminology of the day. Virginia Woolf met Vita Sackville-West in 1922 and although both married, they began a love affair which ultimately inspired Woolf’s celebrated novel, “Orlando.” Orlando is an allegorical representation of Vita who lives through three centuries and switches between male and female genders. Nigel Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West's son, has called the book “the longest and most charming love letter in literature, in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her" (Woolf xv). “Life and a Lover” is a play written by Natalie D. Meisner that imagines the love affair (and end thereof) between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West with Orlando present as a pseudo magical character, sometimes seemingly just the product of Virginia’s mind, and sometimes able to interact with other characters. Orlando’s appearance opens the play as he awkwardly tumbles, or perhaps is pushed, into Virginia’s room and consciousness, much to their mutual surprise. Orlando matures as Virginia’s awareness of Vita Sackville-West grows, leading to two epiphanies in the first act; one in which Virginia realizes that Orlando is her next book,  1  waiting to be written, and the second in which she realizes that Orlando is in fact Vita. The story presents fictional and non fictional members of Virginia’s social circle, who fear that Vita will have an unhinging emotional effect on Virginia (but who also resent the openness, independence and unconventionality that Vita represents). They develop a plot to expose Vita’s multiple affairs to Virginia, which is ultimately successful in ending the love affair. In the play the end of the love affair is presented as being causal to Virginia’s suicide. The end of Virginia seems to be the end of Orlando, the character. In the epilogue, however, Orlando is seen to have taken on a life of her own and speaks directly to the audience, saying, “If I haven’t occurred to you… I will” (p91) The story is told with particular attention to Virginia’s emotional landscape. She has a rich and deeply felt emotional life, ranging from utter despair to the heights of literary genius and intense love and desire.  2  CHAPTER 2: The Process: Conceptual Director Kate Weiss and I discussed early on the dreamy quality of the play. She was very interested in the difference between Orlando’s world and the real world, which is, in essence, the difference between the Virginia’s interior emotional and artistic world, and the world outside, which can be considerably harsher. We met several times to refine and explore this idea of what happens when artistic delicacy is exposed to intense sensuality and the potential overwhelming nature of the “real” world, and how that emotional landscape might be emphasized with light. Kate imagined the transitions between Orlando’s world and the more literal world of the play to be abrupt and jarring. She also imagined not using any blackouts, with a very few specific exceptions. Kate wanted the transitions between scenes to reflect the dreaminess of the play, representing movements in time as opposed to being any part of the literal action of the play. She also wanted Vita to bring something with her every time she entered, some quality of light. Weiss saw the entire play wanting a sensuality, rich and textured, to represent Vita and the world of sensory desires, but also a delicacy, allowing room for the ethereal nature of the artist and of Virginia. On my initial reading of the script I was struck by the strong emotional content of the show. Everything that Virginia feels, she feels deeply, and even comments on the contrast with Vita’s approach to life saying to Vita, “There is something in you that…. doesn’t vibrate. Whether it’s an accident, or whether you don’t let it, I don’t know. But you keep everything at a certain distance. You don’t feel it all the way in” (86). The emotional states that Virginia experiences are almost ecstatic in their depth, more like tumbling into something than just feeling it. The second act opens with an implicit consummation of Vita and Virginia’s affair. My notes from that  3  scene read, “romantic and soft, dripping with sensuality, curtains of light, light one could drink, lush.” Later in the script when the affair ends and Virginia turns to suicide my notes read, “exquisite sadness, velvet melancholy, tumble into despair so painful it is almost gorgeous.” Subsequent readings of the script started to create a color palette in my mind’s eye that could support the rich emotional scope of the play. I saw gold and rose mixing with lavender and rich blues and felt that the quality of light wanted to be painterly in some way. I also saw using a sunset to invoke a softening and surrendering to night during the initial seduction of Virginia by Vita. I spoke with Weiss about the general palette and the sunset and she agreed completely. Those colors and the idea of low angle sunsets and lush lighting led me to look at the art of Maxfield Parrish as a source for ideas about quality of light. His images are incredibly romantic and sensual, filled with swathes of rich light bathing people and objects in beauty. His images were the perfect inspiration for the heady and keen emotional landscape of the play, providing me with ideas on specific color choice, angles and composition.  Fig. 1. “Daybreak” by Maxfield Parrish. www.maxfieldparrishonline.com  Figure 1 provides a perfect snapshot of late afternoon lushness, with low angle, rich gold light enveloping the entire scene. The quality and color of  4  light in this image (as well as the subject material) leaves one with a sense of languid beauty and gorgeous surrender.  Fig. 2. “ Ecstasy” by Maxfield Parrish www.maxfieldparrishonline.com  Fig. 3. “Arizona” by Maxfield Parrish www.maxfieldparrishonline.com  Figure 2 shows a similar strong low angle light as figure 1, but possibly in the early morning. The image has a sense of clean brightness, with contrasting gold and blue which gives a sense of anticipation, of limitless possibility and refreshing inspiration. Figure 3 is a perfect example of gold, rose and lavender in play with each other. This is the late sunset of enveloping beautiful seduction. Both figure 1 and 3 give an end of day richness with low angle light, contrasting with the brighter gold of figure 2 which speaks more to the dawn. By looking at these images I saw that low angle light will always communicate to us that the day is either beginning, full of promise and new starts, or it is ending and evocative of long summer evenings, warmth and coming rest and the allusion to velvet night. All of Parrish’s images contain low angle light, strong back and/or side light, rich colors with medium saturation and a tendency to warmth.  5  Within the more general concept of worldly lushness and sensuality meeting with rarified artistic inner landscape, and with the Maxfield Parrish images as a source of inspiration for color and quality of light, there were several specific ideas that Kate and I wanted to address with lighting. Kate had a few moments in mind that she wanted to be slightly surreal and not quite part of the literal world of the play; the prologue, the eclipse, suicide and epilogue. The prologue and epilogue both occur out of time and involve Orlando. In the prologue there is no dialogue, we just see Virginia in an isolated pool of light at her desk, with a second, empty, pool of light downstage of Virginia. Orlando is pushed into the second pool, surprising both herself and Virginia. In the prologue we are meeting Orlando as the character arrives in Virginia’s own mind. Similarly, the epilogue involves only the line, “If I haven’t occurred to you… I will.” (91) This is spoken by Orlando as she climbs up a large picture frame, is isolated by a very tight special on her face, and then disappears. The eclipse and the suicide are both intensely sad moments in the play. The eclipse is the moment when Virginia’s heart is broken, which eventually leads to her suicide. Kate wanted both moments to feel very different from the rest of the play, and I saw them as being very cold to reflect the complete isolation and despair that Virginia was feeling on both occasions. In addition to those moments, there were what we referred to as the two “Epiphanies” which wanted to be supported with lighting. Epiphany number one occurs when Virginia realizes that this character, Orlando, is about to be her next book and she starts to write. Epiphany number two happens when Virginia realizes that Orlando is, in fact, Vita. My lighting was supportive of the emotional quality of the two epiphanies. I realized later in the process that this epiphany did not require a large lighting moment, but was in fact an acting moment, best left only slightly underscored by lighting. With epiphany number two Orlando becomes far  6  more grown up, slightly threatening and erotic. I had the idea of the stage flushing far more pink than anywhere else in the show, and then restoring to normal, as if we the audience are in the flush of emotion and arousal, feeling at the edge of the precipice, with Virginia. Virginia exclaims, “I know who you are, Orlando” and then, “I’m in a rapture- I can see it all before me as if it were hovering in the air” (40-41) The production had a beautiful set designed by Allison Green. Allison’s set (figures 4 through 6) was quite a pale yellow, with lovely decorative elements and a large projection screen upstage. Allison had chosen beautiful images for each scene, very much in the same palette as Maxfield Parrish. Kate, Allison and I knew that the pale color of the set would create light bounce, and that the projections needed to not be washed out by stage lighting in order to be effective. In light of that knowledge Kate agreed to keep blocking as tight as possible to prevent excessive light bounce given the pale paint treatment of the set. This allowed us to often create very specific vignettes that would not otherwise have been as effective.  Fig. 4. Production Photo- Stage Right. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  7  Fig. 5. Production Photo Stage Left. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  Fig. 6. Production Photo- Full Downstage. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  Kate and I also talked about Orlando migrating between being a magical character and somewhat more real. When magical he is able to move between scenes, we decided to allow him to move through darkness, between distinct areas of light, rather than lighting him as he crosses between scenes and people. Orlando is the only character able to move between lit areas, as if he is able to cross worlds and times. Other characters remained in the light. This worked well for the play, and had the  8  added benefit of allowing Orlando’s movement, while keeping to specific lighting to avoid bounce. I found that having this plan with the director from the beginning was incredibly helpful when it came to making decisions about specials and cueing. Rather than starting with broad strokes, I was able to start with a finely tuned brush and expand only if necessary, almost entirely preserving the look of the projections and avoiding a washed out set.  9  CHAPTER 3: The Process: Discoveries With a conceptual emotional landscape of the play established in my mind and agreed to by the director, I turned to the specifics of turning our images and words into a realized lighting design. I had had a particularly disorganized lighting design experience just prior to this production and it had really occurred to me that if anyone else had needed to take over from me during that show, they would not have been able to follow the paper trail at all. I made it a priority to have a clear and organized paper trail for this show, from beginning to end. I kept an organized binder which included all of my paperwork, wish lists, notes, theatre drawings and inventories, the script with my cues marked in it and the cue synopsis. On the advice of a colleague I started using post-it notes to have a color coordinated way of keeping track of cues, director’s notes, blocking notes and design ideas in the script itself. As I attended rehearsals I could then just move the notes around instead of erasing and re-writing cue numbers or blocking or notes. I had created a basic cue synopsis from the script prior to seeing any rehearsals, and was able to expand on that cue synopsis without having to start from scratch. As soon as I had a cue synopsis (appendix A) modified by the blocking and emotional content that I saw in run throughs, I turned to the process of figuring out how to turn that into practical reality. The cue synopsis gave me a backbone to start building a wish list of lighting ‘building blocks’ based on the requirements of the script and Kate’s and my conceptual ideas. The wish list broke things down into systems, such as lavender side light, front gobo wash, etc.. (appendix C ) and enabled me to organize and prioritize the needs of the production. With the wish list in hand I then compared it to the instrument inventory of the Frederic Wood Theatre (appendix B) and started a process  10  of allocating specific instruments to each system on the wish list. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use only ETC Source Four instruments for any gobos, to prolong the life of the gobos and to give myself extra brightness from the gobos. I wanted to use them as my only source of front light in some scenes. This allocation process had some moments of rude awakening, I had envisioned having full stage coverage with three colors of side light, but when confronted with the reality of the instruments available to me in the end changed that idea to full stage coverage with two colors of side light, but one sided; gold coming from stage right and lavender from stage left, using a combination of Altman 6X9 and 6X12 Ellipsoidal reflector spotlights to cover the near and far focus. As I made decisions like that, I was careful to make sure that they were not choices that compromised the show conceptually. For instance, the side light decision was comfortable for me, given that the show is almost perpetually in the afternoon, when the sun would be to one side and lovely late afternoon shadows would be starting to creep in. I had decided that for our purposes, stage right was West.  Fig. 7. A 6X9 ERS on the left, a 6X12 ERS on the right. The 6X9 ERS has a much larger beam angle, making it useful for near focuses, the 6X12 ERS has a smaller beam angle, making it an appropriate choice for farther focuses. Image: Sharon Huizinga.  11  The Frederic Wood Theatre inventory also included three High End Technobeams, and I decided to try and use those to create the more surreal moments in the play. Being an arc source they have a much higher color temperature than conventional stage lights, and have all of the parameters that a moving light offers, such as gobo rotation, to create a totally different atmosphere from the lushness of the rest of the concept. With my wish list and the available instruments reconciled I was ready to being drafting, and that is when minor disaster struck. I was using an inexpensive early CAD program called Softplot and part way into drafting the plot, the program crashed in a terminal way. I suddenly had lost the work completed to that point and was faced with a choice: to try and sort out the program with the manufacturers inside of a tight time window (and prior to being able to purchase software online, I would have to be mailed a CD), or to start over and hand draft the plot. I decided to stay with the more known quantity and began to draft by hand. I was immensely grateful to my undergraduate lighting instructor’s insistence on us learning how to hand draft as I worked quickly and was able to have a completed plot by the next day. The hang and focus was done by a student volunteer crew, led by Don Griffiths, Jay Diamond (a colleague from Christie Lites Vancouver who had generously agreed to assist), and myself. Having three of us able to help direct the many students who have less familiarity with reading a plot made the process delightfully smooth. With the many levels on the set, it was not altogether straightforward to come back for touch up focuses. I was tremendously grateful to Don Griffiths, who showed incredible skill in bounce focusing. I expanded my cue synopsis into cue sheets (appendix J) that I had seen in use by another Lighting Designer, Susanne Hudson. These allowed me room to write notes and the ability to always know what cue I was  12  taking notes on during the tech process. For the first time I put my magic sheet in a plastic sheet protector and it never got dirty or crumpled. As I started to build cues, I found myself returning to a territory that was more creative and less practical. I was able to takeout the fine brush and dip it into the broader systems I had in place I was immersed in the joy of painting with light. I was incredibly pleased with the color scrollers that the Frederic Wood Theatre owned. I had chosen to use them on six inch fresnels as top light, with a couple of custom colors added to the existing scrolls (appendix H) and quite pleased with what the technobeams were able to do. They were extremely different in feel than the rest of the show, which is what I had hoped for. For the Eclipse I used the technobeams in a sharp breakup with a cold pale blue color. They were layered under the other stage lighting prior to the beginning of the Eclipse and with its initiation the other stage light faded away in sections, edging closer to Virginia, revealing the technobeams underneath, which were slowly moving across the stage towards her as well. By the end of the eclipse we were left with just the technobeams lighting Virginia, illustrating that the eclipse was not just a cosmological phenomenon, but also an eclipse of her emotional state with the departure of Vita and the end of their love affair. The scene ends with: Lady M: I’m shutting my eyes and if I were you, I’d do the same…… It’s the only way to be safe Lady P: It’s so dark. Virginia: Yes…. the darkest day in living memory Blackout. (72-73) In the last moments of the play Virginia commits suicide by drowning and Vita is in her garden and feels the absence. I was able to use the  13  technobeams with rotating gobos to create a feeling of moving water on Virginia and a tight pool of flower gobos over Vita. Vita’s special remained warm and vital, while Virginia was very cool and slightly harsh.  Fig. 8. Virginia’s Suicide. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  Fig. 9. Vita reacts to Virginia’s death. Photo: Sharon Huizinga.  14  I was glad that Kate and I had agreed to keep lighting contained, since I discovered that the pale set bounced more light that I had imagined. It meant that there were a few scenes where it was necessary to let the bounce wash out the projections to some degree, but by and large we were able to keep things feeling intimate. The café/bar in the production wanted to be one such intimate place. A place with slight danger and shimmering bits of light and shadow. To achieve this I used a gobo of venetian blinds as the primary source of light. I wanted to convey a location where they blinds were always drawn, but the light from outside was very strong and bursting to come in, a place of voluntary endarkening, where seduction and plotting could happen. This look was one that both Kate and I liked a lot, however I had became so enamored of the look, I temporarily forgot about the first rule of stage lighting; visibility, and in the end had to brighten it a little bit using other front light.  Fig. 10. The Café. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  15  Fig. 11. The Park. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  Another ‘gobos as the only front light’ experiment was more successful in that I did not need to add anything extra. The park scene was lit from the front only with blossom breakups. I wasn’t sure initially if they would provide enough fill, but it ended up looking very realistic and allowed the side light colors to come through and provide an unmuddied sense of color and light. I was very lucky to have Niven Pong as my assistant and lighting programmer. He proved to be extremely adept at programming moving lights and tracking scroller changes. He and I were able to do a couple of fun cueing things like at the end of Act II scene 1 (the consummation). I wanted to give a sense of the heady falling that Virginia and Vita were both experiencing. This is one of the few times in the production where Kate wanted a blackout, and so to convey the falling, hesitation and then  16  surrender in the script I had a very long fade to black that started with the beginning of their kiss, Niven would pause the cue when they broke off in hesitation, and start the cue again from it’s paused point when they both surrendered to each other. The effect was that the eyes adjusted to a fade in progress, and when the fade stopped the stage appeared to flash brighter as the eyes adjusted, starting the viewer out of reverie, and then allowing the viewer to relax back into the fade and Virginia and Vita surrendered to each other. The choice to allow the side light to be one sided in terms of color in the end created a rich quality of light that I may not have achieved without that particular constraint  Fig. 12. Vita and Orlando exiled by Virginia. Photo: Sharon Huizinga  17  CHAPTER 4: Conclusions Lighting for “Life and a Lover” worked almost entirely as Kate and I had envisioned. I felt that lighting did indeed convey the richness and lushness of Virginia’s emotional landscape, from highs to lows. With one or two necessary exceptions the projections were not washed out by lighting, and the special effects that I had hoped to achieve with the moving lights worked well. I particularly felt that the use of a painter, Maxfield Parrish, as research material was effective and a tremendous tool for future projects. Painters work with color and light and as such lighting design and painting have a natural affinity. It was extremely helpful to have concrete images to base my color choices on. In past productions it had been a little bit of a gamble when choosing color because I was attempting to go from images in my own mind directly to the stage. By inserting concrete images that dealt with color into my research, I was giving myself an intermediate step, a target to hit that I already knew would support the emotional content of the play. The entire artistic collaboration with the director and other designers was a joy, the conceptualization felt instinctive and fulfilling, and all or the technical aspects occurred smoothly without incident. This had not exactly been my prior experience of designing for theatre, (due almost entirely to my own limited experience and understanding), and the new sensation of artistic exploration coupled with technical organization felt delicious and revelatory.  18  CHAPTER 5: A Post Script on Design Process This production occurred many years prior to writing this thesis and there are some reflections that are possible with the benefit of time. Upon looking back, this production was the birth of my design process. Over the subsequent years this process has been influenced by many colleagues, mentors and productions and still continues to develop and refine, but “Life and a Lover” marked the first time that I had a clear sense of the scope of the design process, where I was in that process at any given time, and where I needed yet to go. It appeared quite magical to me at the time, but was, of course, a synthesis of many influences from both my undergraduate and graduate training, that happened to gel for me on this particular production. Through the entire process, from initial meetings to cueing and levels I found myself curiously organized. I say curiously because although I had set out to make this production as organized as possible, it was actually a surprise to me that it worked. Prior to this production I was aware of everything that needed to happen to produce a realized lighting design, but never seemed to have things in exactly the right order. Over years as a professional designer the bare bones of my process have remained the same as what gelled with this production. Design process is a large subject, beyond the scope of this thesis, but there are some key points that bear describing here. These are the points that seemed the most revelatory to me at the time, and had the largest impact on the smoothness of the production.  19  1. Allow enough time to let the play percolate. This means reading the play early, to allow enough time for it to sink into your consciousness. The first couple of readings are just for allowing the story in, and general images and color to surface. Meeting early with the director allows time for their vision of the play and your own images to synthesize. By doing this I was able to give the play room to flower in my mind, previously I had often rushed this process, reading the script only shortly before attending a first full run through. 2. Organizing Cue Synopsizes. The third read of the play is to start establishing the location of lighting cues. I used post-it notes in the script so that I could easily move cues around when watching rehearsals and not spend time erasing when I could be watching. I attended as many rehearsals as possible to give myself time to process what was happening on stage, and time to respond artistically to what the actors and director were doing. After meeting with the director to go over all the cues as I saw them, I put them into a cue synopsis so that the stage manager had cues as early as possible. 3. The Wish List and Reality Prior to “Life and a Lover” I had started drafting too early, before really thinking through the allocation of instruments. With this production I made a wish list of specials and systems, compared it to the lighting inventory that the Frederic Wood Theatre had available and entered into the drafting process knowing very clearly how many lights and of what type were to be used for each purpose. This avoided surprises and re-thinking later in the process.  20  4. Keeping meticulous paperwork Often in technical rehearsals little things change, a light gets moved or plugged into a different spot. At the time these small changes seem insignificant, perhaps even something that can just be remembered. For this production I vowed to keep meticulous paperwork, tracking every small change, reprinting paperwork every day or two, having rental information clear and easy to find and having a paper copy of everything in a binder. I found an immense security that came from being able to trust all of my own paperwork without question. It freed me to be far more artistic, with less time spent chasing little errors. 5. Keeping the binder together and the magic sheet in plastic Absolutely everything related to the lighting design of “Life and a Lover” went into one binder, with labeled tabs. I always knew where to find what I was looking for, and anyone else who needed information always knew where to look as well. I kept a colored magic sheet in a plastic protector, which kept it pristine through constant handling and easily identifiable from other paperwork. 6. Cue Sheets A colleague had shown me a system of cueing that I decided to try on this production. It was a cue synopsis printed large, with only four cues per page. When watching technical rehearsals I was able to follow along, always knowing which cue we were in on stage, and with ample space for writing notes about each cue, with no possible confusion about which cue the notes pertained to. This eliminated a lot of confusion that I had previously had trying to a) know which cue I was looking at on stage, and b) later on the console trying to figure out which cue I was supposed to be changing.  21  7. Take any time you get to do notes. In a technical rehearsal there are often small windows of time when the action stops to resolve something. I started to use those small windows of time to page through my cue sheets and fix timing notes, or other things that could be fixed without being disruptive. By doing this I was able to reduce the amount of time I needed for lighting notes at the end of the day and maximize the amount of refining I was able to do 8. Keep the trust with your director. On this production I met with Kate frequently just to make sure that we were on the same page, so that we were sharing information in little steps. I always made sure that her notes were done before the next time we saw that scene and made a major effort to create an atmosphere where she would feel totally comfortable in bringing anything up. Because the director felt comfortable, I was able to be very free artistically. If trust with the director gets impinged upon a designer can find themselves working under scrutiny, which is less than ideal for creative thinking. These major points are mostly organizational in nature, and it is not necessarily intuitive that they would create more room for artistic expression. Things like organized cue sheets and a magic sheet in a plastic protector may seem like minutia, but to my surprise I found that never being concerned about where to find things, and always having paperwork that I knew was updated allowed me more time to think creatively and communicate with the director. Having efficient systems made the entire process essentially stress free and far more creative than previous designs. A structured design process allowed me to become aware of more small moments and to refine the artistic aspect of the production to a level that I had not been able to achieve previously.  22  Bibliography Clark, S.N. Virginia Woolf: A Short Biography. The Official Website of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain. The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, 1998. Web. 13 January 2012. Gilbert, Alma M. Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks. Ten Speed Press, 1992. Print. Johnson, John C. Maxfield Parrish’s Daybreak, Ecstacy, Arizona. Maxfieldparrishonline. Galileo, 1997. Web. 1 January-1 May, 2012. Meisner, Nathalie D. Life and a Lover. Natalie Meisner Draft Copy, 1999. Print. Nicolson, Nigel. Portrait of a Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. University of Chicago Press, 1973. Print. Nicolson, Nigel. Virginia Woolf. Viking Penguin, 2000. Print Woolf, Virginia. Orlando. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Print.  23  Appendix A: Production Photographs (Photos: Sharon Huizinga)  Orlando with Virginia in her study  Orlando whispers  24  High Society in the Park  Vita in the café, Virginia in her thoughts  25  Lady P feels Vita’s considerable charm  The Bedroom at Knole  26  Sadness takes over  Virginia in anguish  27  Both exiled by Virginia  Vita mourns Virginia  28  Appendix B: Cue Synopsis  Life and A Lover Ques ACT I Slide Q 1- Get Set for Top of Show  Pg 1  Q1  Time2  Preshow  Pg1  Q2  Time6  House1/2  Pg1  Q3  Time6  House Out  Pg1  Q4  Time5  Blk  Prologue_______________________________________________________________  SLIDE #1 (PROLOGUE)  PROJECTOR #1  Pg1  Q5  Time5  Virginia’s Desk up  When Actor set  Pg1  Q6  Time1  Orlando’s DSC Spec.  Anticipate Orlando’s entrance.  Pg1  Q7  Time3  Blk  Beat after Virg sees Orlando  Scene i__________________________________________________________________  Pg2  Q9  Time3  SLIDE #2 (PARTY)  PROJECTOR #2  Dinner Party Up  With Chorus of “Virginia”s  Slide Q 2 (Advance Projector 1) Pg3  Q10  Time6  Isolate Vita & Lady P (bench)  Anticipate Vita’s entrance  Pg3  Q11  Time3  Brighten Virginia and co.  With “What does a writer…”  Pg4  Q13  Time3  Restore Dinner Party  With “Well….Vita.”  Pg8  Q14  Time3  Fade to Transition Light  Beat after “call me Vita?”  Scene ii________________________________________________________________  Pg9  Q15  Time1  SLIDE #3 (PARK)  PROJECTOR #1  Park Light up  With Actor’s Entrance  29  Slide Q 3 (Advance Projector 2) Scene iii________________(No transition Q- Virg is at desk during all of scene ii)_____  SLIDE #4 (VIRGINIA’S) Time6/2  Pg12  Q16  Pg12  Q16.2 AF  Scroller Move  Pg12  Q17  Rest of Virg’s room up  With Vita’s trip  Time0  Virginia’s Desk up  PROJECTOR #2 With Clive, LadyM, LadyP exit  Slide Q 4 (Advance Projector 1) Pg14  Q18  Time1:00  Sunset begins  With “…take to my bed.”  Pg15  Q19  Time7  Frame front Spec. up  with line “…in tact”  Pg15  Q20  Time1 AF3  Frame front Spec. out  With Orl. falling out of frame  Pg15  Q21  5/10  Shrink to Desk Area  With Orlando’s jump  Pg15  Q22  Time20 AF10 Finish Sunset  Pg17  Q23  Time7  Fade to Transition Light  Beat of Virg looking @ frame  Scene iv_____________________________________________________________ ___  SLIDE #4 (VIRGINIA’S)  PROJECTOR #2  Pg18  Q24  Time6 AF7  Virg’s window up  With Virg putting book on desk  Pg18  Q25  Time 5  Rest of room up  (autofollow)  Scene v_______________________________________________________________________  Pg21  Q26  Time10/5  SLIDE #3 (PARK)  PROJECTOR #1  Shift to Park Light  As Vita crosses to park  Slide Q 5 (Advance Projector 2) Scene vi________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #4 (VIRGINIA”S)  PROJECTOR #2  Pg24  Q28  Time6/2AF5  Shift to Virg’s Window  With Virg’s entrance  Pg24  Q29  Time8  Rest of Virg’s Room Up  (autofollow)  30  Pg27  Q30  Time1  Strange Frame Backlight  “…an eerie” Go  Pg27  Q31  Time2  “ “ Out  Anticipate Orland. cross to Virg  Pg28  Q32  Time6  Brighten  With Vita’s entrance  Slide Q 6 (Advance Projector 1) Scene vii_______________________________________________________________  Pg32  Q33  Time5/10  SLIDE #3 (PARK)  PROJECTOR #1  Shift to Park Light  With Lady P’s entrance  Open up park area  W/ Clive’s entrance  Slide Q 7 (Advance Projector 2) Pg35  Q34  Time4  Scene viii______________________________________________________________  SLIDE #4 (VIRGINIA’S) Pg38  Q35  Time8/4  PROJECTOR #2  Virg’s Desk (Tea)  end of line “information now”  Slide Q 8 (Advance Projector 1) Pg39  Q36  Time1  Change Virg’s epiphany1  “…any little adventure…”Go  Pg40  Q37  Time1 AF6  Change Virg’s epiphany2  1st “…for the moment.” Beat-go  Pg40  Q37.5 Time10  Restore room to normal  (autofollow)  Scene ix_______________________________________________________________  Pg43  Q38  Time5/10  SLIDE #3 (PARK)  PROJECTOR #1  Shift to Park  “…any time but now” Go  Slide Q 9 (Advance Projector 2) Scene x_________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #5 (CAFE) Shift to Café  PROJECTOR #2  Pg45B Q39  Time3/1  W0/4  With Vita’s entrance w/ chairs  Pg47  Q40  Time7  Virg’s Chair up  With line “…powder my nose”  Pg47  Q41  Time7  Virg down some & Orl up (4)  As Orlando gives letter to Vita  Pg48  Q43  Time3  Blk-End Act I  Give LadyP beat looking around  31  ACT II Pg48  Q44  Time4  Intermission Stage up  Pg48  Q45  Time4  House Up  Slide Q 10 (Advance Projectors 1 and 2) Pg49  Q46  Time7  House ½  Pg49  Q46.5 Time5  House out  Pg49  Q46.7 Time4  Blk  Scene i________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #6 (KNOLE)  PROJECTOR #1  Pg49  Q47  Time5  Knole bedroom up  When Actors Set  Pg57  Q48  Time6  shrink to bed  with hand kiss  Pg58  Q49  Time30  slow fade to blk  W/ Orl. Pulling Vita back  Pg58  Q50  Manual Q- Niv hits “Hold”  W/Virg stopping the sex thing  Pg58  Q51  Manual Q-Niv hits “Go” again W/Vita taking over  Scene ii_______________________________________________________________ SLIDE #6 (KNOLE)  PROJECTOR #1  Pg60  Q52  Time5  Bright bedroom up  When Actors off stage  Pg60  Q53  Time0 AF3  Big Change…  W/ Orlando looking down gown  Pg60  Q54  Time4  Restore Q52  Scene iii______________________________________________________________  SLIDE #7 (PUB)  PROJECTOR #2  Pg60  Q55  Time5/8  Shift to Bar  With Orlando’s exit  Pg61  Q56  Time3  Orlando DSR Out  With Orlando’s cross to V.  Slide Q 11 (Advance Projector 1) Pg63  Q58  Time5  Dancing Spec DSC  Anticipate Cross to dance  32  Pg64  Q60  Time5/7  Bar stays- DSC spec out  w/Orlando’s cross to Virg  Scene iv______________________________________________________________  Pg65  Q61  Time3/6  SLIDE #8 (VITA’S)  PROJECTOR #1  Virg’s platform up  With Orl’s second exit  Slide Q 12 (Advance Projector 2) Pg65  Q62  Pg65  Q62.5 Time1  Pg 65 Q63  Time3  Time10  Vita’s Spec in front of bed  Anticipate “Dear Dottie”  Vita Out  With Lap Desk slamming  Transition light up  “…looks quite fetching”beat-Go  Scene v________________________________________________________________  SLIDE # 9 (ECLIPSE) Pg66  Q64  Time2/6  Porch Light up  PROJECTOR #2 With Lady M’s entrance  Slide Q 13 (Advance Projector 1) Pg72  Q65  Time10  Eclipse starts  With “..would appreciate it”  Pg72  Q66  Time7  Eclipse 2  With“…It’s starting”  Pg73  Q67  Time7  Blk  With Virg’s exit  Scene vi_____________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #4 (VIRGINIA’S) Pg74  Q68  Time8  Virg’s desk up  PROJECTOR #1 With Virg’s entrance  Slide Q 14 (Advance Projector 2) Scene vii____________________________________________________________________ SLIDE #8A (VITA)  Pg 77 Q69  Time5/10  PROJECTOR #2  Shift into Vita’s room- surreal Give Virg few beats rubbing ink  Slide Q 15 (Advance Projector 1) Pg81  Q70  Time1  Pg81  Q70.5 Time2  Spell is broken- normal room  With “Sage…”  Orlando Frame Light up  With Vita opening book  33  Pg82  Q71  Time1  Strange frame backlight  With”…insult the writing”  Scene viii____________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #10 (OUTSIDE) Pg 82 Q72  Time3/9  PROJECTOR #1  Shift Outside of Virg’s window Give Orl.few moments in frame  SlideQ 16 (Advance Projector 2) Pg84  Q73  Time6  Change  Pg84  Q74  Time8  Shrink to Vita &Virg on bench With Vita kneeling  Pg85  Q75  Time3  Frame light up dimmly  With “About Orlando..”  Pg86  Q76  Time3  Restore Q73  With Vita moving away  Pg87  Q76.5 Time2  Orlando Frame light pulse  With “Nooooo”  Pg87  Q76.7 Time2 AF4  Pulse Out  Pg88  Q77  Snap to V&V, frame out  Time1  With LadyM, LadyP, Clive exit  With slap  Paper Falls Pg88  Q78  Time8/12 W5/10Shift to Virg’s desk for mono. W/Virg covering Orl. w/sheet  Scene ix___________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #11 (DROWNING) PROJECTOR #2 Pg89  Q80  Time6/15  Shift into Water light  “…I will ever have”  Slide Q 17 (Advance Projector 1) Pg90  Q81  Time6  Vita’s garden light up dimmly With “Dearest Vita..”  Pg90  Q82  Time1  Virg’s light out & Vita bright  “Vita?” No beat- Go  Epilogue________________________________________________________________  SLIDE #12 (EPILOGUE)  PROJECTOR #1  Pg90  Q83  Time4/8  Vita out, frame up  “..that lovely spirit.”  Pg91  Q84  Time5  Blk  As Orlando climbs frame  Pg91  Q87  Time4  Curtain  Pg91  Q88  Time4  Blk  34  Pg91  Q89  Time4  Postshow/House up  35  Appendix C Wish List  Wish List -Tops- 6” Fesnells with scrollers for 12 areas(4 Virgina’s plat, 3 Vita’s plat, 5 Garden) -High Sides- 12 or 24 from each side -Fronts for 14 areas (09) make sure you get people standing in front of platforms (dinner party) Add an area for DSL corner of Virg’s platform for dinner party SPECIALS –Frame -front, very tight to inside of frame -Back- very tight to inside of frame -4X Par 19 in each corner of frame -Desk -Front- lamp support (S4) -Front- for kneeling on desk -Front- very tight to DS of desk for Water scene -Chair -Front-tight to chair- floaty -Front- standing on chair -Bed  -Front/Top very tight cut to bed- floaty- get Vita sitting in front too -Front very tight for Vita sitting in front of bed (act II scene viii)  Front-tight special Orlando DSL corner of Virg’s plat- prologue Back“ “ prologue Front- From 45 degrees for café table Front-DSC for dressing, dancing etc… Front- for wardrobe- old zoom Lower sides to support sunset window (X2 instruments) GOBOS 3x french doors- day, sunset, night 1x same gobo, from inside into outside, garden, area C 6x trees- all over park – winter/summer trees 1 x Flowers- Vita end of show 3X technobeams on 2nd FOH  36  Appendix D Instrument Inventory  37  Appendix E Light Plot  38  Appendix F Channel Schedule  39  40  41  Appendix G Instrument Schedule  42  43  44  45  Appendix H Moving Light Schedule  46  47  Appendix I Scroller Strings  48  Appendix J Magic Sheet  49  Appendix K Cue Sheet  50  Appendix L Contents of the Binder  CONTENTS OF "LIFE AND A LOVER" LIGHTING BINDER SCHEDULES CONTACT SHEET Q SYNOPSIS INSTRUMENT INVENTORY AND THEATRE INFO RENTALS DESIGN NOTES INSTRUMENT SCHEDULE CHANNEL HOOKUP MOVING LIGHT AND SCROLLER HOOKUP COLOUR/GOBOS MAGIC SHEET CUES SCRIPT  51  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.24.1-0072811/manifest

Comment

Related Items