site logo

Esther: Unmasked

A woman seated in a chair in front of another woman, who is stroking the first woman's hair.

A woman wearing a blue cloak and a golden belt sits in a chair. She is wearing large prosthetic ears. Behind her, a woman in a silver shirt and headband strokes the cloaked woman's head with her right hand, and holds a microphone in her left hand. There is a spotlight on the two women, and the scene is bathed in red light.

The Show's Villain (Haman) at home with his wife.

Director: David Willinger
Playwright: Jake Friedman
Lighting Designer: Carlin Greenfield
Venue: West End Presbyterian Church

Photographs by Miriam Rubin unless otherwise noted.

Esther was the first original play I worked on, and the first time I acted as both Lighting Designer and Master Electrician. The play takes the ancient biblical story of Esther and tells it in the context of the modern #MeToo Movement. Judaism and Social Justice are both issues that are close to my heart, so it was amazing to get to help put this production together.

The venue for this show had no existing dimmer racks or power distribution, so everything I brought in had to run off of house current, because of this I opted for an all-LED rig for better efficiency and flexibility. I used Blizzard HotBox EXAs as a general stage wash, and an ETC ColorSource Deep Blue as a follow spot. To minmize budget I used ETC Nomad running on my laptop to control the lights.

A woman stands in a cool spotlight against a dark background.

A woman is shown in profile standing in a spotlight against a black background. She is wearing a red skirt and a white shirt. She has a red bow in her hair and a red scarf around her neck. She is speaking into a microphone, which she holds in her left hand. In her right hand is an open binder, which she is reading from.

A hard spot isolates the narrator from the rest of the play. Photo by Jake Friedman

A woman with a laundry basket and a woman on crutches stand on opposite sides of the stage.

Two women standing in front of a gilded balcony. The one on the left wears a pink dress and a black shirt. She is holding a full wicker laundry basket. The one on the right is wearing a grey striped shirt, grey khaki pants and a nightcap. She is standing on crutches. In the background there is the shadow of a large column.

Sidelight and the resulting long shadows characterize the poor section of town.

Two men in loose robes dancing in a spotlight.

Two men dancing a merry jig with their arms around each other and wide smiles on their faces. They are in a spotlight and the background is red. The one on the left wears a purple head covering, a white laced shirt and white pants. He also wears a brown shawl. The one on the right wears a green head covering, a green shirt and vest, and gold and black patterned pants. He holds a microphone.

Wide smiles contrasted with a red wash characterize the farcical song "We're Gonna Kill The King".

The lighting plot for Esther: Unmasked

An archetectural scetch of the

I drew up a quick plot to help manage the addressing, channeling, and placement of the lights.

Back to Lighting