How I did that: lighting “Frozen” on Broadway by Natasha Katz


Read here what five-time Tony Award winning lighting designer Natasha Katz has to say about her design on Disney's Frozen on Broadway, using LED curtains by ShowLED.


Five-time Tony Award winning lighting designer Natasha Katz discusses her design on Disney’s Frozen on Broadway:

Frozen is a beloved animated film that we wanted to make into an equally beloved stage musical. It’s the story of two sisters who have a deep love for each other that is tested because Elsa, the older sister, finds that she has powers she can’t control. It carries themes of unbreakable bonds of sisterhood and female independence. Ultimately, it’s a topical and relevant story today of two young women coming to terms with their own power — not with its limits, but with its awesome range.

Since the two visual mediums of animated film and musical theatre are very different, the creative team had to find a way to translate the movie to the stage. We also had to take into account the expectations that the audience would have for a Disney musical: a great story, spectacle, eye-popping excitement, incredible music (including the iconic “Let It Go”), and magic.

It’s always important for me, on any show, from a play to a musical, to first understand the story that we, as a creative team, are trying to tell and use this as a jumping off point. The spectacle and magic will come as a result from the story.

Frozen is a fairytale, so I felt a strong need to heighten, through lighting, the emotional undercurrent of each scene in the show. We start the show with a feeling of reality: A normal town with sunlight streaming from stage left, grazing the people and the mountains as if we are in a real place. We then go into the interior of the castle where the lighting also gave a sense of reality and comfort. Once Elsa discovers her powers, the visual story shifts and reality is no longer relevant. This is when the world of ice and snow arrive. Inspired by the film, I very often lit the ice and snow with vibrant colors, filling in shadows with a heightened complementary color to show the fantasy and fear in the story. Elsa’s anger and internal suffering manifests itself by freezing her surroundings and other people, so ice and snow became an important visual for much of the show.

Source: Live Design Online
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