Gobo Design Project

Poetry of Lighting (November 2001)

Doom is at Hand

Mental images that led to the original six gobo designs (pictured above right):

  • Calm: Sunshine breaking through the clouds over a sea in the calm following a storm
  • Feminine Grace: A dancer with flowing costume, a fairy
  • A Foggy Coast: Clouds drifting (meant to be projected across an actor rather than a background drop)
  • Fear: Sharp fangs, pointed teeth, ice picks, spears coming from all directions
  • Uncertainty: Ice chunk slowly breaking apart on a frozen sea, becoming smaller and smaller
  • Anxiety: Ice breaking up, sharp, no safe path

Fear, Uncertainty, and Anxiety combine to produce . . . .

"Doom is at Hand" (pictured above left)
I wanted to create the feeling of a world collapsing, falling apart, and slowly swallowing those that remain. The teeth of the Fear gobo surround the actors, restricting the "safe space," which was once the entire playing space, to their immediate surroundings in a pool of downlight. This world is devoid of hope and therefore light, being almost entirely backlit to produce a silhouette effect. The scenic elements consist of a semi-translucent off-white fabric stretched taut against some sort of framing. The Anxiety and Uncertainty gobos backlight these panels, creating the cracked walls of these characters' collapsing world. The Uncertainty gobo also creeps down the front of the far stage right horizontal flat to the floor, almost seeming like a spider or other unpleasant creature oozing toward the characters onstage. Once these menacing entities reach the characters onstage, their doom would be complete.
Director: Ping Chong


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Last Updated 7-31-2003