Jagged Little Pill Shines with Elation

Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Theatre LD Justin Townsend employs Elation Professional Artiste Picasso LED and ZW37 LED moving heads during the record-breaking premiere of the musical, Jagged Little Pill, featuring the music of Alanis Morissette.

“It’s really a very special piece,” he said. “It combines the explosive energy of a live concert with the deep profound storytelling of great theatrical drama. There are some big issues that come out in the play, real moments about what’s happening in the world today.

“Alanis Morissette’s album is amazing in its own right and [Academy Award-winning screenwriter] Diablo Cody has created an amazing script with songs weaved into the narrative. It stays very honest to Morissette’s material.”

The show included some special lighting as well. “The light of the production used bold, strong ideas working with the action of the play and the mood,” Townsend explained.

Playing a prominent role in the lighting rig was 42 Elation Professional LED source Elation Professional ZW37 beam/wash moving head effects that the LD had lined in angled overhead trusses in the iconic shape of a roof.

“Working with set designer Riccardo Hernandez, we created a world of light- the iconic shape of a roof of a house became the unifying design idea and we hung 3 trusses full of wash lights to create an overhead structure.

“The units acted as both powerful lights to compose each scene but also created a unique theatrical architecture- activating the scenic design idea. This ceiling of light flew in and out during the action, creating compressed spaces as well as completely flying out to the grid, creating a giant black void.”

The designer complemented the look with Elation Professional Artiste Picassos, the first use of the new LED moving head in a theatrical environment. Townsend was elated to have had the opportunity to use them.

“When I found out I would be able to schedule them into the rig for this production, I was blown away,” the designer stated. “They were real workhorses on the show and did everything asked of them. In terms of punch, clarity, reliability, they were excellent. I could depend on them for the fine and specific lighting fitting of a Broadway musical.”

Part of Elation Professional’s theatrical-grade Artiste series, the Elation Professional Artiste Picasso houses a 620W Cool White LED engine and advanced optical system for a powerful, crisp output and extremely uniform field of light.

Townsend had 9 Elation Professional Artiste Picasso units at his disposal and used them as top light for colour shading and on occasion for texture onto the deck. He also used them as cross light, where the designer said the 23,000-lumen moving head had real punch.

“They also have dependable, clean shutters,” he said of the unit’s 4-blade framing system with +/- 45-degree individual blade rotation. “The speed is great too and they make little noise. In theatre, there are explosive moments but then the next moment can be tender and quiet. These fixtures work well in that environment with no fan noise.”