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LIGHTING & SPECIAL EFFECTS

Lighting & Special Effects: Text

Spirit fire from Rashomon

A colorful floating orb of fire that appears onstage as the Medium converses with the dead during UW-Madison's University Theatre production of Rashomon (July-Sept 2021). In Japanese folklore, floating balls of flame called onibi represent the souls of people who have passed on. To create this effect, I attached a kevlar-core monkey fist wick, sourced from a fire juggling supply store, to the end of an aluminum rod using aircraft cable. Before the effect comes onstage, the wick is soaked in a solution made of methanol and copper sulfate crystals and ignited with a grill lighter. After the effect, the fire is extinguished by deck crew members, who smother the flame with duvetyne. Effect developed and fabricated by Lydia Berggruen (Props Master). Materials: aluminum rod, aircraft cable, steel quick links, Rust-Oleum High Heat black spray paint, antifreeze (methanol), root destroyer (copper sulfate) crystals, duvetyne

Lighting & Special Effects: Text
Lighting & Special Effects: Gallery

Campfire pit from Rashomon

The smoldering remains of a campfire that glows onstage during UW-Madison's University Theatre production of Rashomon (July-Sept 2021). Artificial ice cube "embers" are glued together, spray painted black on the top, and placed on a mesh screen over LED strip lights. The base of the campfire is surrounded with foam rocks (see Foam & Sculpture page) and birch branches. When lit from the bottom, the embers flicker between red and white light controlled by the light board. Fabrication and electrics by Lydia Berggruen (Props Master). Inspired by campfire effect designed by Jay Duckworth. Materials: 1/2" MDF, 2x4 scrap, acrylic and glass ice cubes, mesh screen, black gaff tape, low-temp hot glue, matte black spray paint, LED strip lights, DMX decoder, scenic paints, birch branches, wood shims

Lighting & Special Effects: Text
Lighting & Special Effects: Gallery

LED lanterns from Bonnets

A mismatched set of eleven battery-powered LED lanterns created for UW-Madison's University Theatre production of Bonnets: How Ladies of Good Breeding are Induced to Murder (December 2021). Each lantern is outfitted with panels of diffusion gel to replace the glass windows, and contains white LEDs that are controlled by the actor with a hidden on/off switch. Prop fabrication and electrical wiring by Lydia Berggruen (Props Master), production photos by Beau Meyer. Materials: metal lanterns, white LED diodes, mini on/off toggle switches, jumper wires, 9-volt batteries, battery clips, black and white gaff tape, electrical tape, plywood blocks, diffusion gels, cardboard strips, low temp hot glue

Lighting & Special Effects: Text
Lighting & Special Effects: Gallery

Water pipe from Heathers: The Musical

A makeshift water pipe that glows and produces vapor, featured in the song "Big Fun" in UW-Madison's University Theatre production of Heathers: The Musical (April 2022). The pipe is made out of household items, to look like it was homemade by a high schooler. The retro Mountain Dew label is created in Photoshop and sealed with contact paper before being applied to the bottle. The stem of the pipe, made from a hollowed-out Crayola marker, contains a nicotine-free e-cigarette with an LED tip that glows when the user inhales from the mouthpiece of the pipe. Graphic design and fabrication by Lydia Berggruen (Props Master). Materials: soda bottle, Crayola marker, aluminum foil, loose mullein herbs, low-temp hot glue, e-cigarette, printed label, contact paper, 3M Super 77 spray adhesive

Lighting & Special Effects: Text
Lighting & Special Effects: Gallery

Glowing tree stumps from Sonnets for an Old Century

Eleven glowing tree stumps used as onstage seating in UW-Madison's University Theatre production of Sonnets for an Old Century (April 2021). Each stump is painted with a white birch paint treatment and outfitted with three LED lamps. Wall hooks are added to the back of each stump to provide onstage storage for small costume pieces. Carpentry by Lydia Berggruen (Props Master) and undergraduate students, electrics and paint treatment by Lydia Berggruen, production photos by Beau Meyer. Materials: 2x4's, 1/2" plywood, 1/8" hardboard, deck screws, T-50 staples, muslin, black duvetyne, scenic paints, clear gloss breakthrough, LED bulbs, lamp cord, lamp sockets, wall hooks

Lighting & Special Effects: Text