Please Bring Balloons lit with Elation Colour Chorus Lights

by Michael Eddy
Elation Colour Chorus luminaires were used by LD Stacey Boggs to brings color to Please Bring Balloons
Elation Colour Chorus luminaires were used by LD Stacey Boggs to brings color to Please Bring Balloons

The New York City Children’s Theater is a nonprofit organization that creates original, entertaining, and enriching theater for young audiences and adults to enjoy together. Lighting designer Stacey Boggs recently lit two plays there in repertory and used color washes from Elation Professional’s Colour Chorus 72™ LED batten wash lights to help create the magical environment on one of them, Please Bring Balloons directed by Sara Morgulis.

Further information from Elation Professional (elationlighting.com)

Based on Lindsay Ward’s book, Please Bring Balloons is an interactive, multi-sensory theater experience created for young theater-goers and is touted as a fun and dynamic introduction to theater. Targeted toward 2-5 year olds, it tells the story of a girl and a polar bear who go on a magical journey to the North Star.

“The driving principle for the design was magical realism,” Boggs explains. “We live in a world that contains an abundance of beauty so we pulled from the items that are contained in our natural world (i.e. stars, northern lights) and pushed them in our theatrical setting to be seen through the eyes of the child. I needed a fixture that could be near an audience member since we were allowing children to explore the theatrical setting and still produce the color concepts of the heighten world the team was trying to create.”

The production used 11 of the 6-ft long Colour Chorus 72 fixtures, LED strips that house 3W RGBA LEDs for a broad choice of colors. The fixtures were used for the Northern Lights section of the performance, which is also the climax of the story, and then were present for the rest of the story line. “We wanted to create an environment where the audience members could freely interact with the performers and explore the environment around them,” Boggs says. “Set Designer Blair Mielnik used a soft Astroturf to create an open space where there were no barriers between the performers and the audience members. Then we lit the entire theatrical space as one environment. This invited the audience to join in the magical journey rather than to just observe it.”

The Colour Chorus strips were placed around the whole environment and used to project saturated palettes which the unit did very well, according to Boggs. “The deep amber was the most impressive to me,” she says, adding that the crew found the fixture easy to understand, address, and use.

Boggs says she cannot stress enough the team effort involved in making the production a success.  “We were led fearlessly by our director Sara Morgulis,” she says. “Blair Mielnik, the set designer, and I worked together on the scenery and lighting practical placement. Leslie Bernstein, the costume designer, and her team hand painted the Polar Bear costume so that it would be better under the light. And without the wonderful soundscape that Martha Goode, our sound designer, created, the piece would have lost a huge amount of charm and magic. It was an honor and pleasure to be a part of this team.”