By Laura Nugent
Lighting the stage for “Rumors” has been a lesson in patience and comedic washing, painting the stage in an even bath of warm light that will illuminate the farce played out by the actors.
The set for this show is huge—it spans almost the entirety of the stage space in the Swirnow theater. Thirty lighting instruments that throw pools of light eight feet across are needed just to cover the floor and the balcony. Hanging each of those instruments so that they properly overlap without leaving any dark spots is an exercise in patience; correcting the focus of one light could require shifting the focus of several other lights.
“Rumors” is very unlike the Barnstormers’ last mainstage, “Legally Blonde,” which was essentially a series of special effects. Of course “Rumors” has a few special effects hidden up its sleeve, but lighting this show has been an opportunity to step back and perfect the basics of lighting: providing a three dimensional space made out of light in which actors can tell a story.
Thanks again to my lovely assistant Lizze and board op Brandon, and to volunteers and friends Julia, Victor, and Najwa for all of your hard work. It wouldn’t be possible without you!