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CAFÉ VARIATIONS: Meet the Lighting Designer

Does this make him an editor, a visual manipulator? If the answer were yes, then Scott would argue that he isn’t doing his job. He does not wish to edit an audiences’ perspective of the play, he wishes to give them the opportunity to see more and to decide what they think is important and why. Scott said of Café Variations, “this piece has power enough to give audiences the opportunity to find their own bliss,” implying that if he were any kind of visual editor the audience would be trapped in finding his bliss.

As far as process is concerned, much of the work is intuitive and created when Scott enters the actual performance space. Ahead of time he has preliminary discussions with the company to determine the anticipated light requirements in the way of spotlights, specials and stage washes; but from that very basic outline, Scott enters the rehearsal ready to respond to the bodies on stage and the feelings he is picking up while watching—to fill in the so-called coloring and features of his design. In a way, what he is doing is similar to a location painter. The artist can prepare by appropriating all the required materials and might even have a sketch of the sunset in mind, but only when he arrives on the spot and sees the vast array of colors and feels the warmth of the sun’s rays on his face can he truly capture it in paint. Scott is a painter only his medium is light and his pallet is emotional resonance.


Lighting Design Inspirations

Image 1: Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942

Image 2: Edward Hopper, Summer Evening, 1947

Image 3: Edward Hopper, Rooms By the Sea, 1951

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