Martin professional lights A Crossing
Thursday, 9 December 2021
acrossingmusical3the BSC production of A Crossing: A Dance Musical
USA - To provide Barrington Stage Company’s (BSC) production of A Crossing: A Dance Musical with versatile lighting that elevated the show’s lively music and energetic choreography, lighting designer Jason Lyons selected a range of Martin Professional lighting solutions, provided in part by Christie Lites.
Founded in 1995, BSC is a non-profit theatre company that is dedicated to developing original and compelling works by diverse voices, such as the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among many other productions. A Crossing: A Dance Musical, created in association with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company follows a group of migrants on their journey across the US-Mexican border.
As the play covers raw and relevant topics like immigration, sanctuary, fear and hope using little to no spoken dialogue, the production required a versatile lighting system that reinforced the many emotional shifts throughout the show while accommodating the production’s unique set design and limited space. To meet these requirements, Jason Lyons assembled an impactful and efficient lighting rig with Martin ERA Series, MAC Series and VDO Series fixtures.
“The production has a very organic set and a lot of video projection, so I needed to create a lighting language that was able to create these really dynamic moments with the characters throughout the play while still giving me the control to let the video take precedence when it needed to,” explains Lyons.
“The set has these multi-contoured curved walls, platforms along the upstage area and three giant pieces downstage that change into different configurations depending on the scene. The show is also basically nonstop songs and cues, and as you develop an original story from scratch, it could be that one day there's a whole new scene or song you need to figure out. So I knew I needed a plot that had ultimate flexibility and could adjust to changes quickly.”
Lyons noted that just four ERA 800 lights provided the coverage and dynamic flexibility that he required to execute the visuals needed for the show while also accommodating the theatre’s limited hang space. Additionally, the fixture’s six-slot colour wheel selection, CMY colour mixing and wide selection of gobos, frosts, prisms and more allowed Lyons to deploy diverse effects and vivid colours without the need for custom-made templates.
A Crossing is a developmental show, so we didn't have a lot of money for anything custom,” explained Lyons. “But what was included with the ERA was really amazing and helpful. There were times where I played the ERAs at super low intensity but still had this really gorgeous colour in a perfectly laid-out template, and I was able to kind of cut things perfectly around the contours of the organic scenery. It was brilliant; I couldn't have been more excited about getting a chance to use these fixtures.”
Along with the ERA 800, the production utilised the multi-source Martin MAC Aura PXL lights for saturated washes and granular programming at the individual pixel level. Lyons also equipped the side stage areas with Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD moving-head fixture for additional effects and beams in key dance and music sequences.
Finally, the Martin VDO Atomic Bold fixtures allowed Lyons to create diverse effects and immersive visuals with highly accurate pixel mapping and built-in backlight and beam effects.
“It's always great to work with Martin,” adds Lyons. “Brad Schiller is a great representative at Martin but also a great friend. We've worked together so many times over the years, and he and I often talk about new gear, how I can integrate into my designs and what we can do for each other. Demoing Martin’s stuff and talking to them about it is always a pleasure because I always know that at the end of the day, the product is going to be great and we're going to be taken care of.”

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