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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Adriane M. Levy

A Motorized, Mirrored Rain Effect

For the Yale Repertory Theatre’s 1997 production of The Skin of Our Teeth, Director Liz Diamond and Lighting Designer Jennifer Tipton wanted to create a 5-minute stylized lighting effect to simulate the downpour during the flood. Since renting a scene machine was beyond the budget allocated for this effect, we looked for alternative solutions. Harking back to the days of disco, we experimented with the mirror-ball method of reflecting light. We worked with a lighting instrument and a drum covered in mirrored tiles — a rain drum. By changing the arrangement of the tiles, the angle of the light, and the rate of rotation, we were able to produce the effect we wanted. Though this article describes ...

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