[MUSIC PLAYING] ANNESLEY WYE: My name is Annesley Wye and I did lighting design for my year 12 drama major work. For my year 11 play, I was in charge of sound and lighting design. Our play was Dags by Debra Oswald and I was in charge of the sound and lighting of the whole show. So I got to in class each week design the lighting and the sound, each scene by scene and the transitions between the scenes.
We had scenes that were indoors. We had scenes that were outdoors, so playing between the lighting between those two. The fact that I was able to light a show and to see people’s reaction of it and how well it went, it inspired me to do lighting design for my major work. I chose lighting for my major work because I wasn’t 100% super confident on stage to do a monologue and I don’t necessarily have many other awesome talents in costume design or things like that.
So I thought lighting was really fun and I enjoyed it for my year 11 play, so why not do it again. For my major work in year 12, I chose the play Toy Symphony by Michael Gow. And I wanted to show the inner turmoil of someone who’s really creative and whose creativity is stifled, especially when that school by teachers and trying to fit in with everyone else.
I used shade and color in my major work to show people who were real and people who were not real. So the people who were not real were really bright and colorful. I use lots of shades like greens and purples and bright yellows to show that they were fantastical and very different. I used really dull colors to show the boringness of all the people at school.
I picked two scenes from the play to light on a stage. So I picked one scene from each act and I wanted them to contrast. So I used one from act one and one from act two, and I picked them because they show two different sides of the main character. One where his imagination is stifled and his creativity is being taken down by teachers and the boringness of school and one where his imagination flies free. And there’s crazy characters real, not real and it’s really interesting to be able to light those and see the difference between those two.
My option choice and text choice, they didn’t really change over time. I already had decided that I wanted to do lighting design for my project. And I think when I went through all the plays that were options for what I could do, I decided on Toy Symphony and I was really sure that I wanted to do it because I read through it and it was really cool.
I used my logbook a lot. I used to– I took it to school to show my teacher every week how I was progressing through my work and I also took it to industry professionals. I was able to visit a theater and sit in the lighting booth and watch a performance and watch the lighting for that, which was super helpful.
And I wrote everything down in my book, and then I was able to take it back to school, take it back to my family who helped me as well, and show them all my ideas and refine them slowly to create the major work. I had a really cool opportunity to spend some time with an ABC lighting director and I was able to show him my work.
And he was able to help me with more of the subtle lighting that you wouldn’t necessarily think about, which was super helpful towards the end of my work. There were a lot of little challenges along the way, but the biggest one that I’ve faced was about two weeks out from when my project was due for marking. It kind of just hit me that it’s all due and I thought I had done more than I had.
And I had to really look through all of my things, get everything sorted, get really organized and seek help from others to finish it all in time. Some experiences that I had that helped structure my work were various excursions throughout my time in drama from year 9 to year 12, going to see plays in theaters and seeing how they lit the stage.
I also was able to sit in the lighting booth in my local theater and have a really hands on experience with how to light a show and lighting that. And also, feedback from family, friends and teachers helped me finish it all on time, get different opinions on things, and it helped me change some things and finish my work.
After completing all of this work, I learned that it is not a one man job. This is not something that you can do just by yourself and that you need to ask people for help. I did that through asking my parents, my teacher, lots of different people. I would also advise anyone who is doing a project like this to make sure you’ve got your time management sorted out.
Start your project early and get all of it done because you’ll be busy with other things in year 12 and then you don’t want that to come down on you when you’re about to sit exams and things like that so start early. If you’re considering or thinking about doing lighting design for your major work, I would definitely say go for it. I really enjoyed my experience, even through the challenges. And seeing the work finished, it was so satisfying.
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Content updated 22/9/2020