Gypsy revival with Chauvet Professional
Friday, 13 October 2017
gypsyThe play spans decades and also operates as a ‘show within a show’
USA - America’s oldest continuously-running summer theatre, the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA, is staging of the Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents classic Gypsy, with a collection of Chauvet Professional Ovation fixtures lighting the show.
Supplied by Boston-based High Output, the lighting was taken to task by dramaturgical storyteller Zach Blane, who had to set up a Broadway scale production in only one 10-hour day.
“Lighting ,I>Gypsy is a tall order, doing it in one day is an even taller order!” said Blane. “I approached the tech process as I would a festival show (as far as time management is concerned). I sat down with director Michael Rader and choreographer Jason Sparks beforehand, and mapped out every beat of the show. I like to know what every second of the show should feel like, which inevitably manifests into what it should look like.”
Describing Gypsy as a “deceivingly intricate dramaturgical puzzle”, Blane explained how lighting helped convey the changes in the relationship between the plays protagonist and her mother over time. “The play spans decades, and it also operates as a ‘show within a show,’” he said. “I decided to utilise restraint in the early production numbers as to remain ‘period appropriate’.”
Blane credits the Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidals with helping him. He had eight of the RGBA-Lime colour mixing fixtures in his rig, all of them with 26° lenses. A pair of the Ovation fixtures with I-cue and auto-iris accessories dropped in were positioned over FOH and were used for multiple specials throughout the show. “The FOH Ovations allowed me to highlight specific moments with full colour options that took place within seconds of each other,” said Blane.
The six remaining fixtures were arranged as head highs on either side of the stage. “The Ovation fixtures onstage were instrumental in giving me quick colour options from the side.” Blane explained. “Previously, I might have used incandescent fixtures with scrollers to achieve this, but the Ovation units are so much better in terms of noise. This show has many intimate ‘book scenes’ so fan noise was a large factor on gear choice, and the Ovations are virtually silent.”
(Jim Evans)

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