CMU School of Drama

Monday, April 03, 2017

Lighting Through The Glass Ceiling Reflections on Tharon Musser

Rosco Spectrum: Oceans of words have been written about Tharon Musser, her beginnings at Yale, her first success with José Quintero’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, her work with the Michael Bennett-lead “dream team,” her three Tony awards, her introduction of the computerized console on Broadway, and the small army of Tharon Musser assistants that are now successful, professional lighting designers. There had been a titan or two before Tharon, such as Jean Rosenthal and Peggy Clark, and there were several successful contemporaries – but only Tharon was “the Dean.”

2 comments:

Delaney Johnson said...

I surprisingly LOVED this article despite the fact that it was about lighting. Typically lighting terrifies me because it is foreign and non-tangible. However, this article was very interesting because it explained light in a way that was familiar and understandable to me. I relate to physical things much more than technology, sound and light. Being able to feel something makes me understand it. This article however explains lighting design in a tactile way that makes me feel like I can feel the design and the actual light created. I especially enjoyed the comparison of a successful lighting design to the observation of a point of view. Unlike a mere way to see the actors, lighting designs that maintain point of view allow the audience into the world of the stage, whether that be the characters' emotions or environment. Although I am far from being a lighting lover, this article definitely helped me to understand, appreciate and possibly even imagine lighting.

Alex Talbot said...

Tharon Musser is perhaps, to me, one of the most interesting and compelling people to ever work in theatre. Not only is she arguably the most influential people in the field of lighting design, as we can credit her with the introduction of the computerized lighting console to Broadway stages, she was also a woman in what is still today a male-dominated field. And on top of that, at least from my understanding of her life, she was a lesbian. She was truly an amazing artist and innovator, and I wish there was more written about her. This article especially interested me because it talked so much about how she innovated and expanded the boundaries of the field. It also gave me a really in-depth look into how she worked, and I'd love to take a futher look at some of her work to learn more about her process and inspiration .