Don partnered with Theater Department Technical Director Brian Coleman to make the intensive three-week course a reality. “The main goal was to expose students to the connection between art and science by exploring the physics involved in all of the gear that is used in lighting design,” Brian says. “The idea that a class meets daily for three weeks means you can build on your successes from day to day and keep the ball rolling toward a goal.”
The class spent mornings in the physics lab, performing experiments to learn about circuitry, electrical power, properties of light, how light bulbs work, and much more. They applied these concepts in the theater each afternoon, using their new knowledge to evoke emotions and properly light scenes on stage.
“Science has always felt impossible for me to wrap my head around, and I assumed I was going to have to grin and bear some class like molecular biology,” says Lydia Middlesworth ’21. “‘The Physics of Theater Lighting’ made me realize that science isn’t just some daunting subject in school. It showed me that science is the basis of everything — even artistic endeavors! I felt so lucky to have learned that science and art aren’t mutually exclusive.”