You may remember that, a couple of years ago, I posted about the Metal Mesh drapes that we made for The Decemberists. Through the brilliance of lighting designer Anne Militello, the metal mesh took on the appearance of any amazing Impressionistic oil painting. Well, Anne is also Head of the Lighting Design Program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), so when Anne approached Megan to be a guest speaker to a Lighting Lab class, Megan was excited to participate.
Though the focus of the class is on theatrical lighting, it is important that lighting designers be familiar with the many types of stage drapes, as the style and fabric of drapery can impact and be impacted by the lighting design. Megan began the session by explaining the various types of stage curtains, from Grand Drapes to Backdrops, from Austrians to Tab Curtains, utilizing a Power Point presentation to show the students specific examples of each type of drape. Here’s one of the slides that was included in the presentation:
But the session was more than just a lecture. After the Power Point presentation, the session became even more interactive. Megan brought large samples of a number of different theatrical fabrics, including Cambio, Glimmerine, Poly Silk, Sharkstooth Scrim, and Metal Mesh. Using the lighting lab equipment, students were able to able to try out a variety of lighting designs and techniques on the various fabrics, to get hands-on experience on how each fabric is transformed by lighting.
All in all, it was a great evening – Megan really enjoyed teaching and interacting with all the talented and creative students.