Award-winning lighting designer Don Holder won a Tony for his lighting of The Lion King (which opened on Broadway in 1997 and is still running…), and a second Tony for Lincoln Center Theatre's current revival of South Pacific. A frequent faculty member, Holder returns to the Broadway Lighting Master Classes this year with a session entitled "LED Versus Tungsten: To lead or be LED," in which he takes a look at two very different light sources. Live Design queried Holder on his thoughts about LEDs on stage:

Live Design: What are you going to show in terms of LED versus Tungsten fixtures... will you be looking at brightness, color temperature, etc…
Don Holder: All of the above, plus dimming, smoothness of field, beam shaping ability, color mixing, and range of colors available.

LD: Have you used LEDs as replacements for Tungsten fixtures? If so, in which production(s)?
DH: Currently on Promises, Promises—and also on Come Fly Away—I'm using LED striplights for the lighting of all vertical surfaces (light boxes, curtains, cycloramas). They have completely replaced my usual fixture of choice for this application: MR16 mini-strips and T-3 striplights.

LD: What do you hope the attendees will learn in this session at the BLMC?
DH: I'm hoping that by employing these fixtures in the context of an actual 'scene' or stage picture (versus a showroom-style demo), the side-by side comparison of LED versus Tungsten sources will give the attendees a clearer idea about when and where to employ this exciting new technology. Hopefully, each attendee will come away from this experience with an educated opinion re: the inevitable question: Will LED's completely replace the tungsten-halogen lamp at some point in the near (or distant) future?

Full details on the 2010 BLMC.

Register by April 15 for the 2010 Live Design Broadway Master Classes, and save on the Broadway Sound Master Classes (BSMC) May 21-23, the Broadway Projection Master Classes (BPMC) May 24, and the Broadway Lighting Master Classes (BLMC) May 25-27. Take advantage on savings at professional, union/association, and student levels.

Related story:

Q&A: Don Holder