Erik Morra gives Rogue touch to Newsies
Monday, 18 March 2019
newsies1Newsies chronicles the heroics of New York’s newspaper boys
USA - Founded in 1789, Georgetown Prep is one of the oldest preparatory schools in the US. The halls of its leafy campus outside Washington DC resonate with tradition, as Erik Morra discovered when he signed on to light a production of Newsies at the school’s student theatre in February. The play chronicles the heroics of New York’s newspaper boys during their late 19th century strike against two of the most powerful publishers of their era.
“I was familiar with the play, but never really appreciated the David-Goliath backstory behind the strike until I dug into it for this production, which made me extra determined to capture the world of these kids in light,” says Morra, owner of Baltimore-based LumenCUE. Helping him convey the gritty 1899 New York City streets that defined the newsboys’ life was a collection of Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Wash and Rogue R1 Wash fixtures.
“Probably the biggest challenge for me in this show was capturing the Old World feel of New York,” says Morra. “Our director Colin Brown is an amazing set designer. He really created the feeling of a turn-of-the-century ‘newsies’ square in New York City, and I tried to support his work with my lighting.”
The deep, rich colours Morra was able to create with his Rogue fixtures helped him evoke the desired mood. “I found the colour mixing from the Rogues was great for dialling in the right colours needed to make every scene come alive,” he says. “Throughout most of the play, I stuck with basic light ambers and blues for atmosphere. I also used a hazer to capture the smoky, dusty feel of the Industrial Age - and that made the light from the Rogues really pop out.”
Morra hung eight Rogue R1 Wash fixtures downstage for front light, and eight Rogue R2 Wash fixtures midstage for downlight and backlight. “The zoom feature of the Rogues really allowed me to define the space and keep the focus where it needed to be,” he says.
Along with its Rogue R2 Wash and Rogue R1 Wash units, Morra’s rig included Chauvet DJ Intimidator and Freedom Par fixtures.
(Jim Evans)

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