Natasha Marie Rotondaro is a Canadian Lighting Designer based out of New York City and Toronto. She uses light to build worlds and tell stories within them. She loves collaborating, and aims to explore light through theatre, dance, or other art forms where light can sculpt space. Natasha is excited to continue working in New York City post-graduation, and hopes to find herself working internationally throughout the course of her career.
This production of The Shadow of a Gunman was a largely collaborative effort in both design and the direction of the play to tell O’Casey’s story in a new way. We took the idea of the 1920’s tenement house, and expanded on it to showcase all of the characters as an ensemble, and to look at how the traumas of this time period continued to effect the future generations of Irish people. My approach to the lighting design was to use the specific sources available to us in the set, such light streaming through the windows, and to offset the naturalism in moments of crisis or violence. We needed to find a way to augment the presentation of violence, and did this by using actor-operated practicals like flashlights and candles during the raid. This let us make bold choices with the design, and also the staging of the violence.
The production of Queens was a big but exciting undertaking for the design. We needed to find a way to transform the space as the action of the play unfolds, and ultimately decided on walls that move as Renia’s character is deconstructed. The lighting needed to move the play quickly between 2001 and 2017, and each time period needed to look visually different from the other. We really needed to approach the world as a transformable space, and find the surreal within the real of the basement.
My production of Jagged Little Pill was set in New York Theatre Workshop, where I created a space that transforms out of the idea of the Healy family living room. The audience-actor relationship is in the round, and the production focuses on Mary Jane understanding her history of trauma, and how she learns to overcome it. The simplicity of the scenic design gives room for light to transport us across the various times and places that we go to throughout the musical.
New York Theatre Workshop