STILL LIFE WITH IRIS (Steven Dietz): Set in Nocturno, this adventure fantasy follows Iris, a young girl on a quest to regain her memory and her home. Her memories are kept in a coat and when that is taken away, leaving her with nothing but a button, she starts out on a journey to find the place she was taken from. Meeting incredible people along the way, Iris discovers the most important thing of all – herself.
When it comes to Theatre for Young Audiences people often think of fluffy shows that have little or no educational value to children. Another misconception is that children will not be able to sit through a show because they will lose interest in what is happening on stage. Lighting design can have a significant impact on TYA productions and, therefore, the children seeing it.
Utah State University had the wonderful opportunity to put on Still Life with Iris just this month, December 2013. The reactions of the fourth and fifth graders who saw it was overwhelmingly positive! They were especially ecstatic about the lights and special effects of this production which was designed by Kenny Driggs. The children especially loved the waves that made them feel they were on the sea shore and the sun rising above them at the very end of the show.
Lighting is always a useful tool in drawing an audience’s attention to a specific moment or creating an overall mood of a production. It can be an essential tool in keeping children’s interest in a TYA production because they never know quite what to expect next. Still Life with Iris was a great example of this!