Prosound creates heavenly illumination with ETC at the Market Theatre

A heavenly lighting effect has been created for the current production of The Dying Screams of the Moon at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre. The unusual solution features a series of unique, handcrafted gobos, and ETC Source Four® LED lighting fixtures supplied by Prosound.

Forming part of the venue’s 40th anniversary celebrations, the play runs from 28 July to 21 August. It marks the first time collaboration of theatre legends Zakes Mda and John Kani, and is set to become a part of theatre history.

The play features an all-female crew and creative team, including award-winning specialists in lighting, costume, set design, production management and marketing. This celebration of women coming together is a memorable event that will appropriately play for much of South Africa’s Women’s Month.

The Dying Screams of the Moon is about two women who meet at church, a place of solace, where they seek inner peace from their troubles of the past. Set in post-apartheid South Africa, it reveals the struggles for land ownership that are still relevant today.

In order to create the majestic stained glass window effect, the church setting called for specific lighting. However, the restricted budget of the play meant that a glass gobo was not an option and it was necessary to devise an alternative solution.

Nomvula Molepo, head of lighting at the Market Theatre, was keen to use ETC Source Four LED luminaires to help realise her vision, and contacted Prosound for assistance. Ian Blair, Prosound’s GM of lighting and structures, offered to supply Nomvula with the fixtures. He also sent Prosound’s lighting specialists, Mac Makhobotloane and Jannie de Jager, to assist with creating the effect that was required.

“The service was awesome! Mac and Jannie brought a variety of fixtures to experiment with in order to achieve the effect I was looking for,” said Nomvula. “We tested the fixtures to see if I could get the desired effect. Then, Mac suggested that I get steel gobos, cut small pieces of gels and paste them onto the gobos. Mac and I tested one fixture and it worked like a dream!

“I’m very grateful to Prosound for supplying the fixtures. And, I’d particularly like to thank Mac and Jannie for all their effort, time and support in assisting me with making the lighting work for the production.”

The ETC Source Four LED fixtures were not only able to capture the look Nomvula wished for, but they were also easy to operate. “I would definitely consider using the fixtures on future productions,” she said.

Thanks to Prosound and ETC, the church scenes in The Dying Screams of the Moon are bathed with the magnificent and divine illumination of stained glass windows.

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