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Lighting Design

Mass by Leonard Bernstein



In Mass we are presented with the story of The Celebrant as he prepares and performs Mass for his congregation.  Existing in a metaphorical space, scenically the story is surrounded by scaffolding framing and containing the space and giving the sense of faith under restoration. Two distinct groups serve as foils for The Celebrant’s journey. Traditions of the faith are perceived with the looming, stoic guise of the Liturgical Choir who are made statuesque and otherworldly depending how lighting defines their form.  Questions and doubt creep into our Celebrant’s Mass from the Street Chorus representing the congregation of the Everyman.  The voices of the Street Chorus are echoed by lighting with colors as vivid as stained glass and bold texture, which moves through the hazy atmosphere breaking thru the softer, whiter lighting of The Celebrant.  The more he finds himself challenged, the more things fall apart.  Movement becomes wilder and colors become electric.  The moments of outburst from the chorus are momentary at first, and are always restored to order.  Until finally their outbursts of desperation reaches their pulsing, swirling, flashing and deeply saturated climax.  Enraged, The Celebrant rebukes their doubts and storms from the space.  All are silenced.  In the end shafts of light emerge from around and above the scaffolding, as the voice of a single child brings reconciliation to a humbled choir and a weary Celebrant for the end of the Mass.

director - Dominic Messimi

scenic - Scott Davis, Sarah Watkins

costumes - Miodrag Guberinic

lighting - Michael J. Stanfill

2009 - Northwestern University



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