Behind the glamour of glittering stage lights, intricate set pieces and finely woven costumes, are a number of creators, fundamental in bringing theater productions to life.
Actors and directors are in charge of the presentation of a show, while producers organize and structure the production process. But without theater tech developing light, sound, costumes and props, there would be no final product to present or produce.
Illuminating the stage
Parker Jenkins, a junior majoring in dramatic art and psychology, is the lighting designer for Company Carolina's production of "Sweet Charity" and Kenan Theatre Company's one-act show, "This was Fun."
Jenkins started as an actor at UNC. However, during his time as a lighting assistant with PlayMakers Repertory Company, he said he was exposed to the beautiful world of light design.
"I hung the lights for their shows," Jenkins said. "I worked with the light pods. I was the board of operations for a lot of our tech rehearsals. So I worked really closely with lighting instruments and different types of lighting."
Blending his love of lighting with psychology, Jenkins said light has the power to change an audience member's thematic and tonal perceptions of a show.
"The small details, like warm colors and cool colors, adding gobos or color gels to make different shapes with the lighting, dramatic shifts versus gradual changes — all of those techniques change the way an audience perceives what's happening," Jenkins said. "Even simple things like having a really dramatic shift in lighting shows something urgent versus a gradual change which is slow and more peaceful."
Fellow light designer and UNC senior Kezia Holder-Cozart said light design becomes even more pivotal to theme and tone in conjunction with sound and the creative intuition of actors.