Dedicated Designers: Shannon Elliot

Dedicated Designers

 

Shannon Elliot –

Lighting Designer


Shannon Elliot, a talented lighting designer who has spent most of her career working in educational theater, will once again illuminate CB Productions’ stage with her lighting design for Robin Hood. Although Shannon works mostly behind the scenes, audiences would literally be unable to see this production without her creativity and skill working with lights.

 

With her B.A. from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Shannon has worked as a stage technician at Maranatha Hall. She currently works as the Performing Arts Tech Manager at Minnehaha Academy and brings her years of experience to CB Productions as well. As the cast and crew heads into tech week, Shannon will work 40-55 hours to implement her design for Robin Hood.

 

In a recent interview, Shannon sheds light onto her somewhat mysterious, often unrecognized job as lighting designer.

 

 

*****

What is your creative process as lighting designer?
I read the script multiple times for tone, which helps me decide the overall color scheme of my lighting. I come to a rehearsal to find out about specific moments that need highlighting. Before we load in, I decide where I want lights to be hung and gather gels and gobos. During load in I refocus, move, and gel all the lights before I program cues. Then, my job is about fine-tuning the timing of cues within the show. In theory, you don’t notice the work I do and that is exactly what the goal is.

What is unique about your design for Robin Hood?
Plays that take place primarily outside like Robin Hood have a different feel from plays that are set inside. This play is warmer, dirtier, and lives in that glowing goo of golden hues. Designing lighting is often pretty subtle. I like to come up with words or pictures that I feel sum up moments in the play and pick colors that evoke those ideas.

What do you want the audience to notice about your design for Robin Hood?

Honestly, nothing. I want the lighting to enhance your experience without detracting from the story or the characters. Maybe you can notice the shadows or the warm glow but I would love nothing better than you not naming something too specific about the lighting besides, “It looked good!”

*****

 

With a zeal for “creating pretty pictures with lighting,” Shannon works hard behind the scenes to light up each stage production for audiences. Her creativity and attention to detail often go unnoticed, but her carefully designed lighting subconsciously enhances the experience of each audience member. The subtleties of Shannon’s work will help highlight characters, transition between scenes and locations, and create the warm forest feeling of being outdoors. This March 31 – April 9, come and see Shannon’s lovely design light up the stage once again.