This past Friday, I received the February issue of Entertainment Design, plus the Buyer's Guide. One of your colleagues sent it to me after a request was made by one of my sisters at our convent for a possible donation of a year's subscription for you magazine. Thank you so much!

I am literally a novice in the field of lighting and although overwhelmed by the magnitude of the industry, am excited about the prospect of learning the craft. I wonder if you might be able to help me with some information?

First of all, I'm interested in finding a course or workshop where I can get hands-on experience. It is not for any credit, but simply to learn about lighting design. The college courses that I have looked into require prerequisites, of which I have none. I saw the article about the Broadway Lighting Master Classes in the magazine, but wonder if that would be way over my head at this point. I would love to find a beginner-type course. Do you know of any, particularly in New England?

Secondly, I had a fellow visit us from Strand lighting to give a lesson on how to use our light board. I told him of our desperate need for more light fixtures, as the ones we have are about 25 years old, but thankfully still work. He mentioned how the lighting crew that did the production Cats threw out all their light fixtures when the show closed. You can well imagine my grief at hearing about that when the equipment was probably newer than ours.

I just was wondering if you knew of anyone I could contact that I could make my needs known to so that if they were thinking of throwing out equipment, perhaps they could send it my way. Since we are a non-profit organization, The Community of Jesus, Inc., we could give a tax receipt for anything donated. I would say my biggest need right now is fresnels. I could use at least a dozen. You might smile at that, as it is probably a drop in the bucket for most lighting companies. Anyway, I would be so grateful if you could possibly point me in the right direction to where I might get some much-needed help. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.