The 2000 EDDY Awards & Broadway Lighting Master Classes

The 2000 EDDY Awards & Broadway Lighting Master Classes – news

David Barbour

The Broadway Lighting Master Classes, sponsored by Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions, set new attendance records for its eighth session, December 7-10, in New York. One-hundred-forty-six students came from all over the globe to take part in four days of discussions on the art of Broadway theatrical lighting design.

The week kicked off on Wednesday, December 6, with a day of optional automated lighting console training, held both at the BLMC’s base site, Fordham University, and the offices of High End Systems in Midtown Manhattan. Classes then began in earnest the next day with BLMC faculty head Jules Fisher’s keynote address, titled “One Approach to Lighting Design,” which considered the issues of creativity in lighting for several different angles. Other speakers that day included Beverly Emmons (The Heiress, Annie Get Your Gun) on issues of style in lighting design, and Chris Parry (The Who’s Tommy, Not About Nightingales), who presented a number of lesser-known but useful lighting units. That evening, students attended a performance of the smash Broadway musical The Lion King; a backstage tour and discussion followed.

On Friday, December 8, the day began with Peggy Eisenhauer, Fisher’s artistic partner, speaking about cueing in musicals. She was followed by Don Holder, LD of The Lion King, discussing the design of that production in depth. Other speakers that day included Vivien Leone, associate designer on Fosse and Saturday Night Fever, on the paperwork associated with a Broadway lighting design, and projection designer Wendall K. Harrington.

Emmons returned on Saturday, with dance LD Clifton Taylor (American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey) for an extensive and highly presentational look at the use of color in lighting. David Hays, famed scenic/LD, founder of the. National Theatre of the Deaf, and bestselling author, recalled his set design for the original American production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night–and its relationship to the productions lighting. Later, Eisenhauer returned to talk about the use of automated lighting and Holder presented a talk on the use of ground rows and backdrops. The day ended with English LD/theatre consultant Richard Pilbrow (aided by Chris Parry) on the European approach to lighting design. That evening, many students attended an optional performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, with tours of Radio City’s recently renovated public and backstage areas. Richard Hoyes of Fisher Dachs consultants, and LDs Ken Billington and Jason Kantrowitz took part.

In addition to the sessions, attendees checked out many of the industry’s newest products at the manufacturers showcase that was held Thursday through Saturday. Corporate sponsors of the BLMC were AC Lighting, Altman, Apollo Design Technology, Avab/transtechnik, City Theatrical, ETC, Fourth Phase, Gamproducts, High End Systems, Lee Filters, Le Maitre Special Effects, Lycian Stage Lighting, MDG Fog, New Century Lighting, Rosco/Entertainment Technology, SSP International, Strand Lighting, TMB Associates, Vari-Lite, and Wybron, with additional support from Field Template.

The BLMC concluded on Sunday with a brunch panel featuring Don Holder, and a number of other Lion King personnel, including associate LD Jeanne Koenig, associate scenic designer Peter Eastman, associate costume designer Mary Peterson, associate choreographer Aubrey Lynch, and production electrician Jimmy Maloney. This group offered students a unique view of the issues and challenges of maintaining a long-running show and reproducing it in other cities and for touring situations.

As always, a highlight of the BLMC weekend is the EDDY Awards, sponsored by Entertainment Design. This year’s awards took place at a gala celebration held at the AMC Empire 25 Theatres on 42nd Street. The evening began with a panel hosted by Steve Terry, president of Fourth Phase, on “Products of the Century.” Terry’s co-panelists included Jim Bornhorst of Vari-Lite, inventor David Cunningham, Richard T. Hart of Xenotech/Strong, Gordon Pearlman of Rosco/Entertainment Technology, Nils Thorjussen of High End Systems, and Keny Whitwright of Wybron. EDDY Award winners included legendary theatre/film costume designer Ann Roth, presented by film and theatre actress Glenn Close; the design/technical team behind Blue Man Group Live at Luxor, presented by PS 122 artistic director Mark Russell; concert/industrial scenery company Tait Towers, presented by rock-and-roll lighting designer LeRoy Bennett; and the design team of Anne Bogart’s SITI company–set designer Neil Patel, costume designer James Schuette, LD Mimi Jordan Sherin, and sound designer Darron L. West, presented by Bogart.

The 2000 EDDY Lighting Products Awards were presented to: Artistic Licence for Common-Sense Interface; George & Goldberg for the Hot Shot Distro Panel; Interactive Technologies for the Figment DMX; Rosco/ET for the IPS Capio Dimmer Series; Strand Lighting for the SLD Dimmer Series; and Vari-Lite for the VL2402[TM] Wash Luminaire [see page 38 for more information]. The 2000 EDDY Sound Product Awards were presented to: Digidesign for Pro Tools 5.1 Software; JBL for the EVO Loudspeaker System; Level Control Systems for the CueConsole; Metric Halo Labs for Mobile I/O Firewire; Neutrik for the MiniLyzer ML1; and Soundfield for the Mark 5 Microphone System.

Next year’s Broadway Lighting Master Classes are scheduled for December 5-9. Look for more details in future issues of Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions. To find out more or inquire about registration, call (212) 229-2965, ext. 816, or check out the event’s website at

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