PENSACOLA. FL – When he took on the project of lighting the Easter Passion Play at his local Pentecostal Church, Jacob Warren knew there would be one key element essential to conveying the spiritual and emotional impact of the production: color.
A lighting specialist at All Pro Integrated Systems, Warren was familiar with the powerful pull that changing colors has on the feelings evoked by a stage setting. Recognizing this, he told director Lanette Kinsey and music director David Geri that he wanted to choose fixtures that could render deep, saturated and realistic colors for the play. Looking at the church’s rig, he quickly determined that its house collection of CHAUVET Professional COLORado and Rogue fixtures fit his needs perfectly.
“There were a couple features about these fixtures that stood out for me when I put together my rig,” said Warren. “First and foremost was color rendering. The COLORados are a very cost-efficient color mixing fixture, which is why they are included in most of my shows. Aside from color, I also wanted intensity. The Rogues always perform well in this regard because of their brightness and beam flexibility.”
Working with his L2 Alec Mark, Warren positioned four Rogue R1 Spot fixtures, along with six COLORado 1-Quad Zoom and six COLORado 1 Solo units, on the upstage truss. The Rogues were used for backlighting as well as for specials during high dramatic moments, while the COLORado fixtures covered the stage in an immersive array of colors. An additional four Rogue fixtures were positioned on the key light truss and relied on for solo spotting and audience lighting during breakdowns and drops in the musical parts.
The COLORados in the rig were used for backlighting and effects, as well as to provide variable whites for warm key lighting. “It was super convenient to be able to use the COLORados for key lighting,” said Warren. “They gave me a nice warm wash on the stage, and it really added to the effect of being in that time period of the first Easter.”
Beyond the warm white wash, it was the intense colors that infused the stage with raw, deeply moving emotions. Combined with the work of audio engineer Derrick Scott, the multi-colored lighting created an all-encompassing sensory experience that immersed worshippers in the passion play.
“I used a few key colors to add to the dynamic of the show,” said Warren. “There were intense blues during the Last Supper and garden scenes. The blues added to drama of these scenes and evoked a feeling of dread in anticipation of the betrayal by Judas. During the crucifixion I colorized the stage in red to accentuate the pain and suffering when Jesus was on the cross. Then, when Jesus rises from the tomb, I cover the stage with yellows and oranges to symbolize hope and the dawn of a new day. Throughout the play, the story is told in color.”