Are lighting and projection design merging?

“Absolutely,” says projection, scenic, and lighting designer Peter Wexler, moderator of the first-ever panel on the integration of scenic projection and lighting at the Broadway Lighting Master Classes (http://blmc.net). “This is not the future, it is what's happening now,” says Wexler. “That is why Jules Fisher asked me to add this panel to the BLMC this year.” Panelists include award-winning projection designer Wendall K. Harrington, automated lighting programmer Laura Frank, and projection/scenic designer Peter Nigrini.

Wexler recently designed the scenery and projected images for the American premiere of Christopher Hampton's play The Talking Cure at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, with lighting by Paulie Jenkins. Marc Rosenthal produced the actual projections, working closely with the designers to integrate the movement of the projections with the moving lights in the show. “The video is projected on a large set piece which is a sculpture,” says Wexler. “Paulie made templates for the moving lights that echoed the movement in the video. That is the real key.”

This integration between lighting and projection will be discussed at the BLMC panel on Thursday, June 17, with examples of projects by the panelists, and a look at merged lighting and projection technology. “The future will be even more interesting,” says Wexler. “It's like morphing in films. In the future, computer art will be preeminent in theatre design. The idea of this panel is to introduce the BLMC audience to this.”