Recently, 2nd year students from the Production Lighting and Lighting Design strands of the BA Theatre Practice course at the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London hosted a new technology showcase for White Light in the Embassy Theatre.
The event gave White Light the opportunity to invite their guests and members of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) into a “sales force-free” theatre environment to check out the latest lighting kit. The ALD annual pub quiz then followed, providing a chance for a bit of lighting-orientated fun and a few drinks with friends.
For the lighting students, the day of the event was the tip of a much bigger iceberg. They took key roles in planning and running the whole event, and worked with production lighting professional Nathaniel Seekins and lighting programmers from MA Lighting. They also learnt the importance of prepping, on-site with White Light and MA Lighting. A big load-in then followed, then rigging, and the flashing out and fault-finding that comes with getting a complex system up and working.
Some of the equipment the students got a chance to work with included Martin Mac IIIs and Auras, Vari*Lite VL3500s, Coemar Infinity Beams and Silver Parlites, Chroma-Q Color Force LED battens, Galaxia LED Softlights, Source Fours, Robert Juliat’s Aledin LED profiles, Leader Light stage beams, and i-Pix Satellites – all supplied by White Light’s hire department.
On the day following the event, there was the opportunity to show off their design and programming skills in front of an invited audience, including theatre and concert lighting designers – all of whom were on hand to give them useful feedback on how to develop as lighting professionals. The chance to network with White Light staff and other key members of the lighting industry was also another reason why the showcase was of such value to the future careers of the students.
“An enthusiasm for lighting, combined with the opportunity to meet the right people in the industry and show them what you’re capable of, was extremely important in the early days of the careers of many of White Light’s staff,” said Bryan Raven, Managing Director of White Light. “We hope that the students from the Central School of Speech and Drama can take advantage of the same opportunities we had.”
“The White Light/ALD event provided a fantastic opportunity to put learning into practice on a significant scale,” said Nick Moran, senior lecturer in lighting at Central. “It gives the lighting design and production lighting students a chance to plan and stage their own event - with Central, White Light and MA Lighting staff as support. The students have unparalleled access to the latest technology, can stretch design ideas, extend their knowledge of the technology and build their confidence in many areas. They build their links to the industries they aspire to work in too, through ALD Professional Members, White Light and MA Lighting. The event gives them the opportunity to shine in front of some top industry professionals. Sure it’s pressure, but it’s a pressure they take seriously, and respond to well.”
Photos by Chris Purnell