Taste of Sunrise

Middle Tennessee State University
Tucker Theatre
February 2018

Direction by Jette Halladay
Costume Design by Tommy Macon
Lighting Design by Darren E. Levin
Scenic Design by Scott Boyd
Sound Design by Elijah Whitney
Stage Management by Virginia Tipps

The Taste of Sunrise explores performance through the beauty of sign language.  The story follows Tuc, a hearing impaired child, and his journey growing up in the rural areas of Illinois and Missouri in the 1910’s and 1920’s.  We experience his struggles to integrate into society, school and his eventual return to his home and love of the land.  Interpreters are utilized throughout the performance, with each character’s dialogue both spoken and interpreted through the beauty of American Sign Language. 

The lighting concept for the production is based on the works of great American painters such as Thomas Hart Benton, heavily utilizing the earth toned color pallet represented in the paintings.  Unsaturated ambers and blues provide the main framework for the design, with natural soft texture applied throughout the design.

A great challenge of The Taste of Sunrise is the coexistence of the main characters and interpreters.  This requires careful attention to isolation and visual unity.  The main action of the show takes place on the center oval, with the interpreters staged behind the main action.  Isolated specials upstage allowed for careful isolation of the interpreters, allowing for visibility of the hands and facial feature, while still maintaining attention to the key action. 

Two systems of steep template specials in unsaturated ambers and blues allowed for intense isolation in the plot, and provided the texture for the performance.  Systems of warm and cool medium saturation high sides provided the key acting light for the performance.  The high side angle worked in harmony with the aforementioned high side system to create the world of the performers and world of the interpreters.