A new state-of-the-art lighting laboratory, the William Land Mintzer Lighting Lab, has been dedicated in the theatre design technology department at Purchase College State University of New York.
Named after the late William Land Mintzer, who was the founder and head of the lighting program for a decade, the new lab allows students to work on their lighting skills using a computer lighting system, gels, and small flexible figures representing actors to create visual effects that can later be reproduced on a large stage.
Mintzer was a lighting designer for more than 20 theatre, opera, dance, television, and industrial productions. Among his Broadway credits are Diary of Anne Frank, Raisin, and Eubie.
He worked with a number of institutions, among them the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Comedie Francaise, the Abbey Theatre of Dublin, and Britain's Royal Shakespeare Co.
Mintzer's former students and collaborators donated over $50,000 of equipment for the new lab in tribute.
Former student and current Purchase instructor David Grill reflected on his mentor at the ceremony, saying, "Bill Mintzer expected and accepted nothing but the best. One light on the right place, in the right color was all you needed to express your feeling. Light, for him, could be cutting, revealing razor sharp angles, hard, or as soft as an autumn rose."
He continued, "Mintzer was an artist, mentor, and friend who wanted to be remembered in light, but he will always be remembered as light."
Among those at the ceremony were Purchase president Bill Lacy, representatives from Altman Stage Lighting Company, City Theatrical, Electronic Theatre Controls, David Grill Associates, Production Arts Lighting, Rosco Laboratories, Showman Fabricators, Strand Lighting, UF Services, Wybron, and the lighting design class of 2001.
In addition to the lighting laboratory, The William Land Mintzer Award was created and permanently endowed. It recognizes exceptional seniors in the lighting program who exemplify Mintzer's commitment to theatre.