K (she/they) hails from Baltimore, Maryland. They gravitate toward lighting work that lives in two extremes: K is as enamored with the community and experimentation of devised work and avant-garde theatre as she is with the high-octane rush and scale of industrials, concerts, and commercial theatre. The beauty and magic of light is that there’s no one way to use it to tell a story.
K comes to the table full of ideas, lighting-based or otherwise, and is eager for her collaborators to do the same. There’s more excitement in what people of different minds and backgrounds can build together than what they can conjure alone!
Third Year Lighting Thesis. Visual world designed by K.
This production of Fun Home explores Alison Bechdel’s relationship to her past and her father, Bruce, through the lens of being “boxed in.” Boxes both conceal and reveal. The lighting for Fun Home is guided by the juxtaposition of restraint versus freedom – what is concealed and what is revealed. The three “worlds” of Alison have unique lighting states motivated by whether Alison is in control of her own narrative. These worlds remain tight and separate until Medium Alison comes out as a lesbian. From then on, the worlds of Small Alison, Medium Alison, and Alison rapidly run together until Alison and Bruce’s worlds collide before he commits suicide. The projections emphasize this devolution by using Alison Bechdel’s own words and drawings abstractly sketched around the stage as the character of Alison works to make sense of her past and get closure.
Book and Lyrics by: Lisa Kron
Adapted by: Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori
Music by: Jeanine Tesori
Venue: New York Theatre Workshop
As a resident lighting designer for the Tisch School of Dance, I designed and mounted over fifty original dance pieces in two years. I had the opportunity to work with student choreographers to help them realize their unique creations as well as teach them about lighting and dance design. I also collaborated with faculty and various established choreographers to remount works or build new pieces.
The first three images are from the concert “CC&D.”
Mycellium was an exploration of four different levels of connection: molecular, human, natural, and cosmic. The design married these four disparate parts to imply that connection looks the same at all levels, and so too are we all connected. The lighting divided the movements into four different colors that came from the same direction, as if the audience is seeing the same picture colorized in four different ways.
i’m still here explored symptoms of depression and anxiety: paralysis, overwhelm, pressure, drowning, and more. This inspired us to create a colorless world. The lighting interacted with the scenery to cast bars around the space and bear down on the dancer tethered to the cloud.
Produced By: NYU Tisch Dance
Venue: The Jack Crystal Theater
Watermelon Eating Contest
Melanie is consumed by her campaign to teach her low-income summer school students that they’re playing into racist stereotypes by participating in a watermelon eating contest. After a haunting nightmare depicting 400+ years of Black trauma, Melanie sets the school on fire and winds up in jail.
All the action prior to the end of the play takes place in the past. The team was interested in imagery that reflected feeling cornered by one’s circumstances. This is reflected in the heavy use of toplight to invoke an oppressive, institutional quality in the school and the prison. I also used linear textures, light through blinds, emphasis of the walls of the space, and cold fluorescent light.
Outside the classroom, Melanie is at her most free. These spaces have warmth, breadth, and jewel tones that we only see when Melanie is most herself and at peace. The jewel tones then twist into lurid reds and greens for the nightmare sequence before slamming back into the jail.
Written by: Stevie Walker-Webb
Adapted from: "The Watermelon Eating Contest" by Dr. Danny Hoey
Director: Stevie Walker-Webb with Joanna Lugo & Lili Stiefel
Choreographer: Erin Pettigrew
Produced By: NYU Tisch Grad Acting/Design
Derek Walcott’s adaptation of The Odyssey follows the legendary Odysseus as he fights to reconcile who he was with the man he has become after years of war. Odysseus, his counterparts, and their kingdoms have all been irrevocably changed by the Trojan War. As Odysseus fights external and internal trials on his way home to Ithaca, he is confronted with new worlds, new ways of thinking, and the burning question of if he truly wants to return home at all.
How do you make Odysseus’ distance from home perceptible, tangible? Each island has a different relationship with natural light and the horizon. The farther from reality and home Odysseus goes, the more unnaturally motivated his lighting. Ithaca becomes Odysseus’ white-hot North Star, with every other island paling in comparison. Odysseus’ light sources shift from sun and moon to fire, flashlights, and bioluminescence in the Underworld before he is able to get back home. comparison. Odysseus’ light sources shift from sun and moon to fire, flashlights, and bioluminescence in the Underworld before he is able to get back home.
Third year production. In progress – production photos will be posted June 2021.
Written by: Derek Walcott
Director: Scott Illingworth
Venue: NYU Tisch Grad Acting/Design
Set Designer: The Atlas Theatre
In Giacomo Puccini’s Il Tabarro, Michele, Giorgetta, and Luigi are plagued by the tragedies of a lost child and a broken marriage. The cracks in their love triangle slowly bend reality until the characters’ world shatters in the final climax of Luigi’s senseless murder by Michele. Reality breaks apart during the course of the opera to highlight the mental and emotional rollercoaster that the three principles, Michele in particular, experience.
At the beginning of the opera, the lighting emulates a naturalistic time of day progression, keyed by the setting sun and balanced by gentle reflections from the water. As the evening progresses, Luigi and Giorgetta’s love affair builds momentum, Michele’s state of mind deteriorates, and heightened emotion will twist the world. Lamplight from the dock grows more acidic. Shadows become more prominent and colorized. This skewed reality builds in intensity until it is yanked abruptly back into naturalism with Michele’s realization of his passion-fueled mistake and the reveal of Luigi’s body.
Second year opera project.