This blog entry submitted by senior theatre major Tiffany Flory:
Last semester we were lucky enough to have Amber Miller come in as a guest set designer for the production of The Learned Ladies. This semester Theatre Simpson is fortunate to have a guest lighting designer for our spring production of Eurydice. The week before spring break, Jason Amato spent the week with the lighting crew putting the finishing touches onto his design.
Before Jason came to Indianola, there was a lot of work that had to be done so that we would be ready to work on what he needed us to do. Caleb Carver was the assistant to the lighting designer, which meant that he stayed in direct contact with Jason to maintain communication between Jason and the crew. At Simpson the light crew consists of four people. I am the lighting undergraduate assistant (UGA) as well as the master electrician for Eurydice, also Kelsey Swanson, Meghan Vosberg, and Chris Schaben work on the lighting crew. The four of us, plus Caleb, hung and circuited the light plot that Jason sent before he came.
Working with Jason was a great experience. Jason has won many awards for his light designs as well as worked at many professional theatres (mostly around Texas where he is from). The first day he came, we all got to catch a nice dinner at the local Mexican restaurant, La Casa, and talked about his life, lighting experience, and how La Casa’s salsa was like tomato paste compared to the salsa that he is used to in Texas. After chatting at lunch, it was time to really work hard at focusing all of the lights and gelling (meaning to add color) to create the mood for his design. Because Jason is used to working with professional electricians, he taught us a lot about fast tricks to focus, organizational skills, and kept us all on our toes to be fast and efficient. Having Jason come in and working with him was an exceptional experience and not only was it apparent how talented he was, but he was extremely easy to work with and a lot of fun.