Red, Black And Green: A Blues

Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco

Summer 2011

Marc Bamuthi Jospeph / The Living Word Project



red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGb) is a multimedia performance work designed to initiate conversations about sustainability as they apply to communities typically left out of the more progressive and technology-fueled movement. It seeks to encourage communities to redefine “green” as it applies to their immediate neighborhoods. In this instance, sustainability addresses issues such as environmental justice, social ecology and collective responsibility. The work is presented as a gallery installation during the day and performance at night.


Reflecting the underlying intention of the performance, the lighting design for rbGb was created so that it could be reproduced with minimum resources, including the ability to maintain its theatrical presence in non-performance venues such as gyms and parking lots. To support this intention, I devised a wireless lighting system into each of the set’s four mobile units that are rearranged throughout the performance. Two 35 amp/hour batteries powered several 120v low-watt LED lamps and a series of 12v LED ribbon for the entire day’s gallery and performance. This system was able to light the performers in and around the scenery and will always allow the production to be lit without a constant source of power. Since audience members were invited to explore and inquire about the scenery after the performance, it was my hope that the clearly visible LED lamps wired throughout the set would provoke a greater awareness of available LED technology.


As this production tours across the country, each venue it inhabits is open to the public as a gallery space every afternoon before a performance. This practical issue also encouraged the use of wireless lighting within the set. When the gallery is open in a traditional theater, there are a series of lighting cues that repeat every 30 minutes. In these cues, the broader stage lighting mimics a 24-hour cycle from one morning into the next. As the cues progress, the practical lights within the set respond by turning on at “night” and off in the “morning.”



"Going green meets and mates with the urgency of achieving environmental justice in "Red, Black & Green." The result is a piece as smart and provocative as it is breathtakingly beautiful."
- Robert Hurwitt - San Francisco Chronicle, October 15, 2011




Produced by: MAPP International and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Directed by: Michael John Garces

Scenic Design by: Theaster Gates

Media Design by: David Szlasa

Choreography by: Stacey Printz

Film by: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

Costume Design by: Mai-Lei Pecorari

Lighting Design by: James Clotfelter