On May 2nd the Unviversity at Buffalo was fortunate to hold a regional USITT. I took part of the event as both a participant and a director, helping the visitors to UB find their way around our Theatre Department. There was a whole plethora of sessions one could go to and expand their theatrical knowledge.

I chose to go to “Costume Design for Dance”, “Lighting Design for Dance”, “Photoshop Tutorial” and “Fine Tuning your Lighting Color Palette”.

By going to “Costume Design for Dance” I was not only able to pick up some great tips for design but also get a great tour of the facilities UB has to offer in the costuming world. After a discussion about how dance costumes have to fit your concept and the dancers comfort, whether it be in their ability to perform the coreography or just their comfort level with exposing certain parts of their body on stage, you must be able to meld your budget and idea with both comfort levels.

In “Lighting Design for Dance” we were able to get some tips on how lighting works in a setting where stage dynamics are constantly changing, learning to limit yourself to the number of cues you put in, only put as many as you feel can be implemented and executed in the short time you have to make them. Try to break the dance into major stages, and moments. When writing cues give them an action to look for rather than a time, this makes it more precise.

In the “Photoshop Tutorial” we learned how to colorize photos and alter color levels to best fit the style we’re looking for. We also learned how to use filters. This can be used in set design for paint elevations as well as in costume design for your renderings.

“Fine Tuning your Lighting Color Palette” a big part of this lecture was directed towards the attention one should pay towards skin tone, and how it will look under the lights. You should not only look at skin tones but also look at what colors the set and costume designers plan on using, because certain lighting gels, while enhancing skin tone will really wash out other colors used in set and costumes. So keep these other things in mind when making a “mood” or enhancing your concept with color, because a sickly actor and washed out set is nothing to be proud of, even if the lighting is incredible.