The Real Inspector Hound

The Real Inspector Hound

Clarence Brown Theatre

  • Lighting Designer: Collin Hall
  • Director: Terry Silver-Alford
  • Scenic Designer: Carrie Ferrelli
  • Costume Designer: Margo Birdwhistell
  • Sound Designer: Brandon Evans
  • Props Master: Kathryn Nabors
  • Stage Manager: Kelli Cool
  • Photo Credit: Brynn Yeager

The artistic vision for this production focuses on the meta-theatrical quality of the show. To accomplish this, all of the team’s designs and the acting choices are hyper-theatrical and exaggerated. For the lighting to enhance the theatricality, I chose to light the set first. There are specials on every major scenic element: curtains, the false proscenium, the ropes, the pin rail, the back wall. Blue light emanates backstage as the running blues, letting the audience see the actors through the open doorways that the scenic designer left. Practical elements like the portrait lights and the chandeliers add life and dimension to the set.

Another big aspect to the lighting design is its relationship to the sound cues. For each stinger, the angle of the light steepens, the color becomes more saturate, and the light focuses on the actors dramatically. Similarly, for each music cue, the color becomes more saturate, depending on the mood.

Since the play is set in the 1950’s, I researched lighting methods and techniques that were popular at the time. One of the most popular methods, which is still in use today, was created by Stanley McCandless. His method uses two front lights, one with a cool color and one with a warm color, at 45ยบ angles in order to create a dimensional white on the actors’ faces. The intensity of the warm and cool lights can also be manipulated depending on the mood of the moment. Because we conveniently had a chandelier above the stage, I chose to use it as motivation for the warm system of lights, filling in the shadows with two cool systems. This approach was particularly effective on the thrust stage because it means that all sides of the audience can see essentially the same show.