The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

By: Barbara Robinsonbxpe poster
Produced by: Downtown Theatre Project
Directed by: Jeremy Anderson

This was an intense project as the producer was renting a high school performing center. We got the space Monday and opened Friday. I was permitted to walk through the space once ahead of time, but wasn’t guaranteed the lights would be in the same spot as during the walk through. I was allowed to move or refocus any of the instruments, but not allowed to use any gel or templates that weren’t already in the pre-existing plot, unless I brought the instruments in. During load in I was also surprised to find half the instrument inventory was broken. It was a fly by the seat of your pants tech process.

The biggest challenge to my design process was the lack of instruments. This required some improvisation and quick moving around the cats to refocus the instruments to have a decent wash and hang multiple specials. It was a big test for my creative skills. Jeremy wanted the narrator in isolation, a contrasting look for the wild Herdman kids, and be able to build to a really magical pageant. Fortunately with the instruments available to me, I was able to create looks using red gel or instruments with steeper angles for the Herdman kids. There was a working spot light I utilized for the narrator and some of the isolated moments. I used the specials I had for the magic of the pageant. There was plenty of blues in the plot, so I focused¬†some straw colored instruments at key positions to provide a warm candle light glow on the kids faces during the pageant. For one of the most intense techs I’ve had, the final result ended quite nicely.

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