Journal

A Matter of Percentages. Mar 21, 2013

by Ella Mahler

The common misperception – lighting is a supporting element of theatre. Costuming, set, music, etc…. something added to the end of a process  - to enhance, to carry out… often seen as perhaps not a “key player” in performance content. Or more so, not an element we can identify as obviously as other aspects of performance. 

Itai Erdal demonstrates how the power/worth/content of lighting plays an essential role – essential percentage – in creating an experience. 

Itai walks us through each lighting instrument, shows us its personality, capability, and common and uncommon purposes. He brings these “invisible” elements of the space to the front our eyes and understanding, all the while telling us stories of his life, and stories of the end his mother’s life.

Itai is both painfully funny, and painfully heartbreaking. He is matter of fact, blunt, and delightfully honest. 

It is no doubt that he is a fantastic storyteller – this is for sure. So what role did the lighting choices play in how he drew us in and carried us with him? 30%? 60%?

We learned about Itai and learned about lighting in separate pieces, but laced together. By the time we learn about his sister, while learning about gels – certainly we feel the weight of each piece and how those work together. How we get to know someone, all the way down to the degree, intensity, percentage, distance, color, texture, cool, warm….. each one counts. We need each to have all of the parts. It’s 50 to 50. Itai certainly clears up the misperception of a “supporting light.”

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