Three Masters of Stage Lighting Design and Their Ideas on Color

On colors that hold their own against moving lights

Photo Credit: Yow Kobayshi

"Each number in BLAST II: Music in X-treme is defined by it's own unique, very controlled color palette. For Tribal Towers, which features eight bungee jumpers and a flying drum rack, the look is industrial, lots of steel blue against warm incandescent whites. It was very important to find strong, clean colors that could really hold their own against a large number of moving lights. For this number, the performers are picked out with steel blue R3202 sidelight, and R54 Special Lavender front light. Meanwhile the upstage Digital Light Curtains on the floor and in the air are doing a tilt chase with a color chase between R78 and R00 while the bungee jumpers are doing back flips. The look is off the hook!"

Mike Baldassari received the Entertainment Design Award for the Broadway hit revival of "Cabaret", along with Tony and Drama Desk nominations. Recent world premieres include "13" and "Nerds". Off-Broadway designs include "Bare", "Jewtopia", and "Savion Glover". Mike lit the national tours of "Man of LaMancha", "Will Rogers Follies", "Fame", "Spiderman", "Grease" and several others. His designs have been seen in a over a dozen countries, including multiple European productions of Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" and "Blast II" for Japan. He received an Emmy nomination for "Garthe Brooks - Live From Central Park."

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On lighting skin tones

Photo Credit: Jay Westhauser

"This new color, R302, does just what I was hoping for! It's a soft, warm white that is not really a color - but it worked brilliantly on the varying skin tones we had in this production of 'A Clean House'. Our performers had skin tones that ranged from porcelain white to Asian to very dark. Pale Bastard Amber, R302, was quite a success."

Michael Chybowski is the winner of the 1999 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence. He has a long-term association with the Mark Morris Dance Group, a 10 year association with Laurie Anderson. He has worked in most major regional theatres in the US and is the Head of Lighting at Brandeis University.

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Mark Stanley
On R361

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

R361, Hemsley Blue, is a new color created in memory of the late Gilbert Hemsley. ram. Here's what Mark Stanley, resident Lighting Desigenr for the New York City Ballet Company, Associate Professor at Boston University (and a leading Hemsley protégé) said about the new color:

"Gilbert had an extraordinary sense of color and was a particular fan of blues. We needed a blue filter similar to those Gilbert used so often on the older lekos ... but updated for the kind of light we get from Source Fours or other modern fixtures. This new filter is a beautiful cold blue that won't turn muddy when dimmed."

R361 accentuated this scene from the Huntington Theatre Company's 2006 production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuse".

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Grand Stage Company

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