Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Nashville Repertory Theatre
Johnson Theatre at Tennessee Performing Arts Center
October 2015

Direction by Rene D. Copeland
Costume Design by Trish Clark
Lighting Design by Darren E. Levin
Scenic Design by Gary C. Hoff
Sound Design by Kyle Odom
Stage Management by Teresa Driver

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is the Tom Stoppard comedy that explores the events in the life of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor players in Hamlet, as Hamlet is being performed. Through the show, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern absentmindedly banter back and forth about the happenings in the show of Hamlet. The show is presented by Nashville Repertory Theatre, the premier equity acting company of the metropolitan Nashville area. Productions are produced at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, one of the premier venues in the Nashville area as well as the country.

The lighting design concept for the show is based in the paintings of the Renaissance era. I wanted to stay specific to Elizabethan, however to get the look of the show and the qualities of light correct for the action on stage, I ended up expanding out slightly earlier and later.

Soft focused light was utilized throughout, with a few key moments become very dramatic to allow for some of the more difficult entrances, exits, and scriptural challenges presented to us by Mr. Stoppard. Creating isolation is absolutely essential to telling the story. I utilized a system of neutral lavender texture from above to quickly and easily pop out key moments of action in larger scenes, and really pull down to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

A challenge of the show is playing interior vs. exterior at all times of day. To deal with this, I in essence doubled up on systems of light. Coloration was based in systems of warm tones with cool ultra -blues to contrast and allow for shifts in time of day. The exterior portions of the show were lit with diagonals as the primary angle, while the interior swapped to front light and high sides as the primary angles. This thinking worked well to give me great contrast between the different locations, and also allowed for the non-primary angle to serve as fill light when needed.