Measure for Measure opens this week! After nearly a month of hard work, the company can't wait to put this show in front of an audience. Get your tickets for opening night, and prepare to enter Shakespeare's Vienna, a world in chaos where the distinction between vice and virtue grows ever fainter.
Based out of Denver, Sean Mallary works as the lighting designer on Measure for Measure. Sean holds a BFA from Texas State University at Saint Marcos, as well as an MFA in Lighting Design from Northwestern University. Through the years, Sean has worked on regional productions everywhere from Chicago to Los Angeles, and we're thrilled to have his design lighting Measure for Measure this summer. Here's what he had to say about the power of good design, the unique challenges of lighting in a tent, and the best podcasts in the land.
Sean: Anywhere USA. I grew up an Air Force brat.
TW: Home now?
S: Denver, CO
TW: What makes a great lighting design?
S: Good question. For me, I think of lighting as the mayo in the sandwich that is theatre. It acts as a binding agent for all the visual elements, most importantly, it showcases the humans on stage. It needs to help tell the story, then create visual interest, focus, and clarity. Lighting helps to heighten the theatrical experience, and great lighting does all this without calling attention to itself.
TW: How does working on location in the tent influence your design for Measure for Measure?
S: I like challenges, and limits are challenges. In this case we have limited options due to the tent setting, which makes every choice powerful and important. Literally as I write this, I am about to load in a corporate production with over 700 lights that move and can make any color possible, which presents a whole other set of challenges and options. For Measure for Measure, I wanted to embrace the fact that we are in a tent, and plan to treat it as a canvas that supports the story telling in our world.
TW: What would you be doing if you weren't designing?
S: Probably being a struggling comedy writer.
TW: Do you have any theatrical idols?
S: Yes, all the theatre makers who have come before me, with me, and after me...
TW:What is your most treasured possession?
S: I have an old school metal Muppet Show lunch box that a girlfriend from high school gave me. I used it every day of my senior year back in 1995.
TW: What's on your playlists right now?
S: I listen to about 30 podcasts a week, mostly comedy and politics. You Made it Weird, Pod Save America and Yo, is this Racist?, are among my favorites. I am really digging on the band Rainbow Kitten Surprise right now, as well as the hip hop artist who was known as Nujabes.
TW: What talent (other than design) would you most like to have?
S: Interesting...Writing is something I enjoy, and something I'm working on, including sketch comedy classes in Denver. I have always loved music, but never have been a musically talented person, so being able to compose would be amazing. I could also stand to be a better cook