The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical

Flying Anvil Theatre

Knoxville, TN


Lighting Designer: Collin Hall

Director: Jayne Morgan

Scenic Designer: David Dwyer

Costume Designer: Virginia Baldwin

Stage Manager: Terry Pfeiffer

Photo Credit: Collin Hall

David Nehls and Betsy Kelso’s Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical is an irreverent yet heartwarming story about finding beauty and love in unlikely places. In the Christmas season, people tend to get caught up in gift buying and extreme decorations, with blown up winter wonderlands invading the streets. This musical shows us that the Christmas spirit isn’t found in the money we spend during the holidays, but in the love and joy we share with our fellow humans.

The goals for the lighting design were to reflect the mood of each song, to indicate the setting, and to supply special effects. For mood, I had multiple color-changing fixtures from a variety of angles: high sides on the Christmas tree, diagonals on the trailers, and a back light system. The visibility light also shifted from a warm tint to a cool tint and back again, reinforcing the tension in the conflict. The mood was affected by the timing of the cues. Most of the fades were slow and subtle, but for action-filled sequences or comedic moments, the cues were more sudden. For setting, I isolated certain areas of the stage. The special effects were required by the script and included a flickering fire on the Christmas tree, a short in the mud flap girl, multiple electrocutions by the cable splitter and the tasers, and the slow motion color-changing effect.