Snapshot: Costume Lighting

Snapshot: Costume Lighting


This is a project for Head Over Heels
that we’re collaborating with between the costume
department and the lighting department and Loren Shaw has designed these
beautiful costumes that incorporate lighting inside them. The
project that I’m working on now is this giant heart-shaped whisk that is an Elizabethan
costume piece that is attached to the back, behind the dress. There’s a special moment in the song and
we want the whisk to light up. So I got these nice little
strips of LED’s that I am soldering together and then attaching to the whisk down here which is 118 inches of LED’s with 2 LED’s per inch. So, you’ve got over 200 LED’s lighting
the outer ring of this, and there are five rings of LED’s. Loren came to us with this idea of incorporating light into the costumes because it’s, you know, part of that 80s
pop culture where we’re first starting to experiment with
technology in our entertainment in a different way, and
we’re using the Elizabethan costumes in this way that joins the Elizabethan time frame to the modern music that we’re using. So that’s a really interesting aspect of the show. I’m joining this very tiny LED tape to the wire that is here and then there is going to be a piece of
cloth that backs this. All of these little strips of these
LED’s will join up in the center to this
circuit board that I’ve put together, and the circuit board has a little computer in
here, and this is called a Trinket pro and we’ve written a little program in here that makes LED’s chase from one ring to another and
then these little chips in here allow this chip to handle the power
because this long run has a lot of power in it. And then we’ve got these little removable plugs
on the end so that we can take the stuff off and wash the costume without having to
wash the processor. It works all the way across. It’s been great
collaborating with Loren Shaw and Lauren Toppo. We’re
working on just getting light into several things–
the Oracle in the show– her costume incorporates light. Two of the
other characters in the show have these beautiful dresses that are very sparkly
in sequins, and then we have all kinds a little LED’s in there that are sparkling. We’re working on that and writing lots of little programs in these little chips so that the lights sparkle or chase just right to
the beat of the music. And it’s been fun collaborating and working
with all these really very creative people and taking their ideas and turning
dreams into reality on stage.

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