About Lynne Koscielniak


Posts by Lynne Koscielniak:

Looking for Remarks

I have enjoyed connecting the UB alumni to the current students on this trip.  I want to thank the alumni for offering career advice, looking at portfolios and resumes, and for sharing stories. Thanks to Becky Wolf, Jon Shimon, Ryan Knapp, and Rachelle Beckerman for skyping with us yesterday as we went live to air from the conference to campus.


I have spent my day reviewing and regarding design work of students and professionals.  This includes the work of costume designer, Izumi Inaaba, a third year MFA at Northwestern University and a UB alum.  For those of you who knew Izumi when she was a student, you will be pleased to know that the brown sketchbooks were still on the table. 


This day has left me thinking about the state of contemporary stage design.  Where do you fall on these issues?


Is American theatre defined by a series of images that express a theme or by stories?  Do the lighting designers of today sacrifice illumination for the sake of “image?”  Does this deemphasize the playwright/the word/the body?  Has image usurped storytelling? 


A few other things…

I hoped to see something I had never seen before, and I have.  The egg-crate top hat (City Theatricals) is a simple, effective, product that shields the source and not the effect.  It can enhance the aesthetic of our work in a number of ways from masking the orchestra stand lights to shielding the source of dance side lighting. 


Having been a studio assistant that built models for the Cincinnati Playhouse, I was pleased to be able to see a production there this evening. 


Katie G. and Andy walked me through the best of the LED fixtures on the trade floor. I truly believe that a “green house” is possible, especially in contained spaces. 


We met Jules Fisher.

Live to Air

Among other activities, my week has included working meetings, international commission information sessions, and serving as a conduit between UB alumni and our current students.


Today’s Notes


In preparation for the 50th anniversary of the Institute, USITT sections are encouraged to research their individual histories, focusing on


technological developments, connections to events, and benchmarks in the industry.  Section founders should be identified and included in

the timeline.  Why was the Upstate section founded?


The Vari-lite VLX, moving head LED fixture, runs very cool.  Once beyond the prototype stage, the fixture will be able to adjust from approx. 20-60 degrees. 

The color mixing systems additively combines red, green, blue and white wavelengths.


Apollo lighting gave us the chance to experiment with various combinations of steel gobos, gobo rotators and dichroic filters to achieve motion lighting effects.  The Apollo “right arm” is a good way to introduce automated lighting programming techniques to the first-time user.



The students identified a number of experts that gave reports on flying systems, lighting consoles and color, and sound systems.  These reports went live to air to the Intro. to Technical Theatre class taught by Tom Burke.

More to come…..

Shared Points of View

As set designers we use the model as a tool for developing and testing partially formed ideas. It, when well crafted, can be used by the director as a means to clearly understand playable space. The technical director and his or her team may reference the model for color, texture, and size information. The designer, Paul Shortt, supports these assertions. In presenting his body of work, he revealed how the model works as a tool and offered techniques for enhancing the model. He shares my belief that modeling in 3/8”=1’0” scale allows for maximum detail while keeping the maquette a manageable size.

New Lighting Technologies Solve Specific Challenges

The need:

Glowing light effect (Linear)

Battery or AC Operated

Water Resistant


The solution:

EL Wire

The need:

Glowing panels

The solution:

Light Emitting Capacitor (LEC)

Beijing Olympics Lighting Designer – Key Points

Achieve balance in three key elements: actor illumination, keeping projection surfaces visible, and achieving special effects.

Through the use of ESP Vision, focus points were preset. The designer speaks highly of ESP Vision and recommends it.

When using projections/projectors account for weather/temperature, need for lumens, and remember that abstract images are easier to project when using multiple projectors.

Conference Reflections

Today I am offering you some key ideas from conference sessions.


Lighting designers – remember that the magic sheet and how it is organized is a reflection on how you think.  It is a document that should be in your portfolio.


In a room of approx. 100 lighting designers, fifty percent number/letter their focus areas from sl to sr.  The rest number from sr to sl.  Both are commonly accepted as professional practice.  At UB, we are sl to sr. 


How do you organize systems of light on the page?  Should the front light be at the bottom of the page to indicate FOH placement, etc.  Make a conscious choice!


I highly recommend going to www.usitt.org to listen to the keynote address given by D. Lynn Meyers of the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, especially if you are in need of reasons for staying positive and passionate about your work.  In Buffalo, are there theatres that have or could save the neighborhood?


In 2011, Scenofest, an active component of the Prague Quadrennial of Stage Design, will explore the intersection of disciplines inside and outside of “theatre.”  Students will be able to submit work in dance, design, and installation/performance art, inspired by the “Myth of the Creation.” 


If you do not know the work of UK designer Ralph Koltai, you should.


It is definitely worth investigating wiki integration for web collaborations and digital callboards.  The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music’s work serves as precedence. 


The lighting commission confirmed Jules Fisher’s presentation and book signing for this Friday.  His talk will be live to air at www.usitt.org.  It will be up on the site for a week.  I encourage TH 332 students to check this out.

I have reunited with my peers, mentors, and former students today.  Look for alumni spotlights to be posted later in the week.


The Mission

I am pleased to be writing from the USITT conference site where seven design and technology students will be reporting on technological advances for the stage.  We will be looking at how these advancements can enhance our production process and outcomes at the University.  I encourage you to return to this site all week, as new information will be posted daily.  Additionally, these students, whose involvement in this research has been sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, will present their findings in person at the Celebration of Academic Excellence and the USITT Upstate Section Meeting held at UB on May 2, 2009.