Broadway Lighting Master Classes speaker Don Holder has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Ragtime.

Holder has received numerous Tony Award nominations, winning for the Lincoln Center Theatre revival of South Pacific in 2008, and for Disney's The Lion King in 1998, for which he also won the Drama Desk Award.

“Working on the revival of Ragtime was a wonderful experience, and talk about ‘the circle of life,’ says Holder. “I was very much in the midst of The Lion King back in '96-'97 when the original production of Ragtime first opened, and I never really appreciated how glorious a musical it was until I began to immerse myself in the material in preparation for lighting the show last spring. I found the experience quite liberating, because I was encouraged by the director, Marcia Milgram Dodge, to eschew naturalism in favor of crafting a poetic, emotional landscape. Derek McLane’s elegant and towering set was a real challenge to light, but it also accepted light beautifully and gave me incredible opportunities to respond to the depth of emotion expressed by Ragtime's magnificent score through the use of broad and bold operatic strokes. It was one of those rare productions where I couldn't wait to get back in the theatre each day to hear the music, experience the story, and to keep making the work better and better.”

In his session at the BLMC, LED versus Tungsten: To Lead or be LED? (Tuesday, May 25), Holder takes an in-depth and hands-on look at the use of LEDs as an alternate to traditional tungsten-halogen sources. “Using the most advanced LED technology available,” he says, “we will perform an analysis of two identical stage pictures: one using all LED sources, one using only tungsten halogen. The side-by-side comparison should clearly illustrate the differences and advantages/disadvantages of each.”

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