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The Enlightening Secret of “Tuck Everlasting”

“Tuck Everlasting”, the Broadway show based on the modern children’s novel about immortality, exists in the unique space between fantasy and reality. It’s a dangerous and exciting place to bring to life. A fine line to walk when creating an environment that is true to both worlds. Take a look at these press photos of the show and tell me what strikes you about the environments…

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Credit: Sara Kurlwich, New York Times

 

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Credit: Joan Marcus, Broadway World

 

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Credit: Joan Marcus, Broadway World

If you look closely, the scenic elements stay essentially the same – with some movement and touches of scenic flair. What transforms the stage and immerses you in each environment the isn’t the scenery – it’s the lighting. After the show I went backstage to congratulate the tremendously talented performers, and I took a look at the scenery without the stage lighting on. Indeed, the set pieces are all one single color. The vibrant, glorious colors of the scenery that set the mood, created the environments, supported the story, the action and the actors on stage – came from the lighting.

The function of theatrical lighting design at its most basic level is visibility. In the very least, lighting needs to make sure that what needs to be seen is seen. And that what doesn’t need to be seen doesn’t have attention drawn to it. Yet in most of the virtual reality experiences I’ve seen, the lighting seems hardly considered. When the audience can look anywhere at any time, lighting can be a key element in guiding audiences through immersive experiences.

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