A strong element within these projects is what I feel is the most unique aspect of my design aesthetic: the development of light as a character. Essentially, this process entails rehearsing the lighting as you would an actor so that it develops relationships and interactions with the performers as an integral part of the production’s narrative. Many of the companies I work with have developed a rigorous process for creating interdisciplinary performance work. This involves extensive research, constant experimentation, and an improvisational structure that purposefully integrates various elements of design. This involvement of light within the process is contrary to a more traditional lighting model where the designer approaches the work towards the end of its creation and contributes something far more topical.
Light has the unique ability to play a far more faceted character than an actor tied to the story. While it is able to take on a range of emotional intensities and colors, it can apply these characteristics to actors, scenery, and even particulates in the air. A shift in lighting provides essential information about the action and can serve as an underlying motivator for other aspects of a performance. When collaborative work has the opportunity to rehearse with design elements, the entire process can attain a rare completeness.
Therefore, building light into the performance narrative is at the root of my design process. I feel that participating in the entire course of a project’s development ensures a deeper understanding of the communal objective and provides a foundation from which to take greater artistic risks. Essentially, live performance examines humanity’s highest stakes and light that is truly embedded into the narrative has the ability to encourage a development towards a performance piece with true integrity.