LD Jeff Croiter had a very busy fall, designing several theatre productions in the New York/New England area. In addition to the productions listed here, he recently opened Gone Home, a new drama at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Nativity: A Life Story, a holiday musical event staged in Washington Heights. Coming up are Nickel and Dimed, a new play for Trinity Rep in Providence, RI, and a new Off Broadway play, Barbra's Wedding. Here's a quick look at four recent productions lit by Croiter.
A Month in the Country, Huntington Theatre, Boston: “When I read the play, I thought, ‘a nice, naturalistic drama, with interiors, exteriors and different times of day.’ Then I saw the set, a giant wraparound cyc and a turntable. We couldn’t use striplights on the cyc, which was 30' high and partially bellow a catwalk, so I used plenty of lekos with templates and PARs with color scrollers from the overhead electrics. I also hung [High End Systems] Studio Spots® above the curved cyc to shoot through the windows in the turntable wall; they moved with the revolve and changed color as the set turned, changing the time of day.”
The Fourth Wall, Primary Stages, New York: “It’s a play, but each character has a little musical number. When we teched it, we played with it, going a little further each time with the lighting of each number. We found that it was better to start simply and build on the idea. We used the Rosco I-Cue, as a kind of followspot in these numbers.”
South Pacific, a bus-and-truck tour for Troika: “The set is a deck, an oddly shaped set of platforms, with a really nice cyc of velour, painted with white clouds; there’s a big flying disk that could be the moon, the sun, and the interior of a hut depending on how it was lit. It looks great under light; I’ve got four overhead trusses with 20 [Martin] MAC 2000s—I used moving lights because it’s a tour and you never know if they’ll have a chance to focus the rig.”
The Baker’s Wife, Goodspeed Musicals, Chester, CT: “The lighting equipment at Chester is left over from when they upgraded the mainstage theatre. Some of the stuff could be older than me. It was a challenge to incorporate them with 20 [ETC] Source Fours that I begged them to rent. Most of the show takes place outdoors. The beautiful thing about it, lighting-wise, is that a lot of the show takes place at sunset or in the morning, so you can do pretty pictures.”