MA Lighting grandMA3 controls visuals for Magic & Mischief in the Park

Photo: Crispian Chan

Singapore-based lighting designer Gabriel Chan chose to run lighting for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Singapore Repertory Theatre for the 2023 season of Shakespeare in The Park on a full MA Lighting grandMA3 system.

With approximately 226 lighting fixtures on the rig, 6321 parameters of control plus five smoke and haze generators, Chan chose a grandMA3 light console complete with a grandMA3 processing unit M to run everything.

“I chose grandMA3 for the streamlined design workflow it offered in conjunction with Vectorworks, and with the use of MVR and GDTF,” stated Chan. A grandMA3 onPC was connected in a multi-user session so console operator Derrick Wong could run lighting cues while Chan was still building the show during technical rehearsals. A QLab controller was interfaced to the MA console via OSC for sound related lighting triggers

Both Chan and set designer Richard worked on Vectorworks, and the entire set, including his lighting rig, was designed in 3D. This 3D plan was then exported to MVR and directly imported into grandMA3, so when the 3D information was fully ported over, he could visualise precisely how the light would fall on the set in grandMA3 3D Stage View.

70 Astera NYX Bulbs were rigged on the chimneys in arrays across multiple rows and columns, so the Camera View aspect of Selection Grid allowed Chan to apply colour or dimmer effects along whichever XYZ axis he preferred.

“My time coding workflow was also streamlined with the use of the interface between Reaper and grandMA3,” Chan noted, grandMA3’s modular approach of handling information.

He worked closely on lighting AMSND with associate lighting designer Genevieve Peck, assisted by technical manager / Chief LX Peter Chi and console operator Derrick Wong, plus a team of 6 follow-spotters.

Creatively, the physical scale of AMSND was one of its major challenges for the lighting department, in particular ensuring that audiences could clearly see who was speaking, and to whom, whilst maintaining all the narrative atmospherics.

The biggest challenge was to design and specify a lighting rig that would withstand Singapore’s humidity and dampness throughout the month of set up and the 4 weeks of performances. All of this was achieved with spectacular results, with a resounding bang of success and much critical acclaim for the artists, production, and creative teams.

Chan has been using grandMA3 since version 1.4 and previously grandMA2 for around 10 years. He believes that the MA Lighting brand has built its reputation as a solid, reliable lighting control system through “listening to and canvassing its community for user feedback.”

“grandMA3 is a complex lighting control software that can achieve very complex lighting effects with relatively simple user input, and I am sure it will achieve the same level of success as MA2 if the team continues to listen to the experiences and needs of its user base,” he concluded.