Chauvet creates connectivity on Broadway
Friday, 19 November 2021
freestyle1Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway
USA - Lighting designer Jeff Croiter and set designer Beowulf Boritt engendered the connection between actors and audience in their work for the current (and fourth) iteration of Freestyle Love Supreme at Broadway’s Booth Theatre by creating an immersive atmosphere that enveloped both the stage and the venue itself.
“We want to have a club-like look and feel throughout the theatre as the audience enters,” said Croiter, who was also responsible for lighting the three previous productions of the show. “At times throughout the show, it’s important to be able to have a connection between the audience and stage.”
Helping Croiter accomplish this is a collection of Chauvet Professional COLORado 1 Solo and COLORado 2 Solo fixtures supplied by 4Wall Entertainment. The RGBW washes connect to the audience, the moment people begin to enter the theatre.
Drawing on the fixtures’ zooming capabilities, Crotier has tight beams directed at the entrance, creating the desired club-like atmosphere for arriving guests and heightening their sense of expectation. Later as the show begins, the beams widen to wash broader areas in colour.
“We have about 60 of the COLORado fixtures in our rig,” said Croiter. “They are the first thing the audience sees when they enter. We have them hung all over the theatre, focused every which way. They hit the ceiling, walls, an audience from behind. There’s also a system hanging around the first truss portal that points at the audience.”
According to Croiter, the colour rendering capabilities of the COLORado fixtures make them well-suited for this show. “The COLORados have a great colour range,” he said. “Preshow, they cycle through various colours, from deep blue to magenta, as well as from amber to blue.”
Colour is critical to Croiter’s vision for the show, given its improvisational nature. Not only does he rely on using different palettes to create a unifying looks that join actors and audience, he also evokes colour combinations to create contrast, define space and reflect the abstract open-ended moments that give the show its distinctive character.
Reflecting on his role lighting Freestyle Love Supreme for the fourth time, Croiter said: “It’s rare to be given the opportunity to reinvent something the way we did, especially after a successful Broadway run. So, we took various things that worked before and improved upon them, as well as brining in a ton of new ideas.”

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