Lighting designer Brian MacDevitt took time out of his rehearsal schedule for Broadway’s A Catered Affair to discuss some details on the session he’s presenting at the upcoming Broadway Lighting Master Classes, Visual Aids: Paintings and Photography for Inspiration and Communication in the Theatre, on Wednesday, May 21 at 10:45am at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York.

MacDevitt is a strong proponent of looking beyond the norm for inspiration as a designer. “In my session, I will discuss outside inspiration to bring into the theatre in the form of paintings and photographs—how they inspire, how we can use them to communicate our ideas to other designers and to directors,” the lighting designer says. MacDevitt will also share photos and specific research he did for A Catered Affair (he will also present a case study of A Catered Affair alongside projection designer Zachary Borovay at the Broadway Projection Master Classes the day prior, May 19).

A Catered Affair is set in the 50s, and [Edward] Hopper was a painter that everyone was drawn to, and it ends up being on the stage in many ways,” says MacDevitt. The designer will share some of the visuals that inspired his design of this new show. “The thing that is really fun and fantastic about this production is that I really felt like, between David Gallo’s sets, Zak Borovay’s projections, and my lighting, you can’t really tell whose is what—just a really good merging of all the designs—really natural and well integrated.”

MacDevitt also plans to discuss the collaborative process. “Lighting designers are used to having all the control of the lighting on stage, and some people just thrive on the battle,” he says. “You can’t have an ego about sharing control of the light.”

“Rehearsals for A Catered Affair are going smoothly,” notes MacDevitt. The show opens on April 17.

The Broadway Lighting Master Classes will be held May 20 to 22, 2008 at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, and includes a ticket to attend Passing Strange on Broadway with lighting design by Kevin Adams.