Elm Shakespeare Company’s annual free Shakespeare production in New Haven, Connecticut’s Edgerton Park, will once again feature Robert Juliat followspots, this time for The Bard’s “Measure For Measure.”
Some 30,000 people are expected to attend performances.
“It will be our fifth season using Robert Juliat spots,” said Jamie Burnett, who serves as lighting designer, production manager, resident set designer and master electrician for the Company. “We are using the Super Korrigan [1200-watt HMI] and Topaze [1200-watt MSD] fixtures for the play, and their light output is great.”
Robert Juliat followspots have made “a vast improvement” to the company’s productions, he says. “I get a lot of punch and control in an outdoor environment for a small footprint. The operators like them, and learn them quickly – they enjoy the very smooth and precise control they get with the spots. The spots are very intuitive to operate and it is easy to control the beam.”
Previously, Burnett tapped Robert Juliat followspots for “The Three Musketeers” where the fixtures were placed in towers in a downstage side light position. He says the production was “one of our most elaborate to date with a turntable holding the central two-level set. The spots allowed me to pick the action out of the background while, at the same time, keeping the use of followspots subtle and appropriate for a dramatic piece. I could pick out characters from the darker background in the more somber scenes, such as when the audience feels the treachery of Milady de Winter’s plans.”
According to Burnett, the followspots “played an indispensable role in the production allowing me to supplement the stage lighting with pinpoint accuracy as sword fighters leapt around, climbed stairs and traversed bridges while the set was in motion.
“Because of the fixtures’ accurate dousing mechanism, the spot operators were able to fine tune their performance to keep the light subtle or dramatic as needed to help convey the mood of the scene.”