I love my design for With My Eyes Shut. As a designer, this script was so giving. It’s an actual plot point that the main character’s emotional state is reflected in the lighting at any given time, which gave me all kinds of license to play with shifting, strobing, and undulating lighting patterns to convey the tempest that existed within. I also want to give a big ol’ shout-out to director/producer Tara Donovan, who showed up to tech with a printed spreadsheet of the cues she wanted, each suggestion with detailed notes. Considering that I was designing lights for about a dozen Fringe shows this year, that simple move to be proactive and get organized made my job exponentially easier. But what I also love is how she wasn’t completely married to that spreadsheet and allowed me to play and explore and try a few things. It’s that kind of clear expression of what you want, combined with putting trust in your designer that they know a few tricks you may not be aware of, that helps take a show to the next level.

About With My Eyes Shut

With My Eyes Shut is a love story that explores how we make connections when typical forms of connection aren’t available. Two neuro-divergent young people meet in what appears to be clown college. Learning emotions through facial expressions and working towards the goal — interaction. Cole and Naomi both have Asperger’s Syndrome and relate to the world through their own expertise. Cole a musical savant and Naomi a dance prodigy who feels in color, grow closer as the perils of “performing” and the interjections of the Stage Hand weigh on them.

Through instruments, Simon says, nerf guns, and dance, Cole, and Naomi discover their truth and a connection they never thought possible.