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Kurt Landisman - Theatrical Lighting Design  

Luna GaleLuna Gale , Aurora Theatre Company: "The lighting of Kurt Landisman plays a major role in the productionís storytelling as four-cornered outlines appears as stark shadows on the floor and walls, giving the distinct flavor that Caroline is feeling more and more boxed in and trapped by the cases that fill her day. Spots zoom in at just the right moment to put individuals into the witness box or to remind us that the baby is what this whole story is really about at its core. Kudos goes to Mr. Landisman for one of the best lighting designs of this theatrical season." Theatre Eddys

Anne BoleynAnne Boleyn, Marin Theatre Company: "Imagine a book in the museum shop where a page is opened, and up pops a court scene. That is the look of the intricately cut-out edges of the massive, receding arches of a royal court rising above Marinís deep and high stage where the only additional property seen or needed is one, lone throne. Magic happens on the walls of these arches and on the floors under them through exquisitely beautiful lighting by Kurt Landisman. From shadowy chapels to magnificent courtyards to forests full of giant trees, the lighting schemes prove to be a powerful reason this production is so successful." Theatre Eddys

Choir BoyChoir Boy , Marin Theatre Company: "The set by Jason Sherwood is terrific and scene changes are skillfully executed, one minute the Headmaster's cushy office and the next a shower room, with little interruption in the action. A lot of credit also goes to Kurt Landisman for his expertly placed lighting. The show is directed by Kent Gash, who helmed the show in Washington D.C. " SF Theater Blog

This Is How it GoesThis Is How it Goes, Aurora Theatre Company: "LaBute has a way of jerking you around and in a very brilliant and entertaining way. The Man is an ex-husband, ex-lawyer and now jobless, or so it seems as he tells his story. He also tells other stories or his versions of reality. And when he is doing this he talks to the audience and the lights dim. When real things between people are supposed to be happening, the lights, designed by the lighting master of the Bay Area Kurt Landisman, are up. The Man is a writer so he is in the business of inventing these different versions."

Old Wicked SongsOld Wicked Songs, Center Repertory: "The glorious piece becomes the narrator of the play, its poetic lyrics mirroring the action on stage and its magnificent melodies serving as both facilitators of dialogue and scene transitions; the play covers several months' time. Parts of the opus play during blackouts as the top border to the wall of the set lights up to reveal an exquisite wave pattern, much like the waves of music. Kurt Landisman's light design also features the slow fading in and out of spotlights resembling the glimmer found when the suns shines just right through the perfect window."

Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonBloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, San Francisco Playhouse: " Visually the production has a raw and punchy verve that serves the rocker esthetic of the show...The lighting design (Kurt Landisman) is tailor-made for a rock concert: saturated colors, hot spotlights, fast cutaways, and dramatic blackouts (the only things missing were fireworks and smoke bombs). " Stage and

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, San Francisco Playhouse: "The energy of the cast is infectious and it is a perfect vehicle for director Jon Tracy’s physical style of moving his actors around the stage...He also has the benefit of Nina Ball’s three-level metal scaffolding set to keep all in perpetual motion and psychedelic lighting by the brilliant Kurt Landisman." for all

Seven GuitarsSeven Guitars, Marin Theatre Company: "The look of Gash's production is also quite stunning. The central playing area of J.B. Wilson's set is a realistic courtyard between brick buildings, and Kurt Landisman's lighting goes mostly for realism except for some extreme moments of theatricality when characters are caught in a solo spotlight. Surrounding the real-world playing area is a patchwork mural reminiscent of the paintings of Romare Bearden. And there's a sumptuously lit backdrop of the Hill District behind the set that allows streetlights and houselights to hover somewhere between reality and artistic fantasy." Theater Dogs - Bay Area Backstage

George Is DeadGeorge Is Dead, Magic Theater: "The sketch takes place in Carla's cramped apartment, another nice set by Mulligan with Kurt Landisman's lights deftly signaling the passage from midnight to morn...but the heart of "George" is in the beautifully nuanced interplay between Thomas and Brothers, as the ditzy, superficial, seemingly helpless Doreen maneuvers Brothers' wry, distracted and savvy Carla into taking care of her." San Francisco Chronicle

She Stoops to ComedyShe Stoops to Comedy, SF Playhouse: "EXTRA: Another Great set from the Talented Mr. English. Kurt Landisman works those lights like a Grand Piano and the Costumes by Valera Coble were drag-a-lecious! And of course, without the incendiary directing by Mark Rucker this play would not be as compelling and faultless as it is." Beyond Chron

Around the World in 80 DaysAround the World in 80 Days,
Laguna Playhouse: "Many scenes of motion (trains, especially) are created by one or two stage hands who attach handles to the turntable and bring it to a healthy clip while the actors gamely swerve, dodge and run upon it. Kurt Landisman's lighting smartly conjures storms and sunsets, the searing desert sun and the inky darkness of a mid-ocean midnight." The Orange County Register

Happy Now?Happy Now?, Marin Theatre Company : "Every moment is brilliantly orchestrated thanks to Kurt Landisman’s lighting design and Melpomene Katakalos’ unique scenic construction." San Francisco Bay Times

Harper ReganHarper Regan , SF Playhouse: "Kurt Landisman’s lighting is harsh and bright bringing a high realism to the intensity of the action. Landisman is one of the Bay Area’s most successful stage lighting artists." The Ark Newspaper

Tuesdays With MorrieTuesdays With Morrie, Center Repertory: "Albom soon begins to re-examine his fast-paced, highly successful career as he finds himself drawn back to Morrie week after week. Eric Sinkkonen's versatile set features three large windows evocatively lit by Kurt Landisman. In fact, the lighting almost becomes a third character as sunrises give way to sunsets and fall foliage hints at the time of year." Contra Costa Times

EndgameEndgame, Shakespeare Santa Cruz: "Endgame looks perfect. Hell as a grey box. With two windows too high to be of much good—the set, interpreted by Erik Flatmo, is as Beckett intended. Also spot-on is Kurt Landisman’s uncanny illumination. The lighting seems actually to breathe, slowly encircling Hamm as he struggles to finish his pointless story, and relaxing its focus again to fill the grey box with exquisitely suffocating ambience." Good Times Santa Cruz

The Hairy ApeThe Hairy Ape, Marin Theatre Company: "John B. Wilson (sets) and Kurt Landisman (lighting) respond with a nest of sharp angles and contrasts. Spears of white light shoot across a grid of steel girders, struts and bridges. Accents of brightly colored neon telegraph the other locations: the ship's promenade deck, a labor union hall, the streets of New York. Don Seaver's sound design, of restive clanks and piercing whistles, adds an unsettling undertow." San Francisco Chronicle

The WeekendThe Weekend, Cowell Theater (commercial production): "The Maine porch set for  “The Weekend” , a new romantic comedy that opened Friday at the Cowell  Theatre, is so commodious and inviting  you want to move to New England the moment you see it. Under Kurt Landisman’s lemony August light, the clapboard walls, weathered fencing, Adirondack chairs and scenic vista of trees, blue sky and rocky coastline (by noted New York designer Douglas W. Schmidt) glow with a languid warmth… Landisman works  a series of climatic wonders. We watch afternoon fade to dusk and silver dawn become morning, feathery clouds scud across the afternoon sky and, through the windows of the kitchen, we witness a showy summer thunderstorm."  San Francisco Chronicle

Handel's GiustinoHandel’s Giustino, San Francisco Opera: "Performed on Barabara  Mesney’s elegantly spare set framed with scaffolding and vaudeville-style strip lights, “Giustino” is a historical artifact, far from contemporary concerns, in a context of timelessness. Both  the simple scenery, mostly thin  cutouts, and Kurt Landisman’s absolutely gorgeous lighting – peach, fuchsia, turquoise, gold – add an air of unreality appropriate to the artifice of the musical expression of the period." The Oakland Tribune

Ghost SonataGhost Sonata,
San Francisco Opera: "The production, done in black and white, is riveting, propelled by Kurt Landisman's eye-popping lighting and projections onto the raked stage of Theatre Artaud." San Jose Mercury News

Samson et DalilaSamson et Dalila, Los Angeles Opera: "Douglas Schmidt's production, San Francisco Opera 1981, lit by Kurt Landisman, nicely matched the music's garish ponderosity: a heavy impasto of burnished color, as from watching ten Gustave Moreau paintings at once, and, for the final temple scene a jumble of pseudo-Oriental statuary lacking only a popcorn stand. Nicolas Jo”l's staging, tidy and unremarkable, at least nicely accomplished the final catastrophe that everyone eagerly awaits; it brought down the house." San Francisco Classical Voice

Samson et Dalila, Los Angeles Opera: "Kurt Landisman's lighting design lends a suitably pre-Raphaelite prettiness to Douglas Schmidt's monumental Hollywood-Babylon dream of a set that also is echoed in Lawrence Foster's lithe yet forceful conducting." LA Daily News

Twelfth Night, Berkeley Shakespeare Festival: "Under Kurt Landisman's luscious jewel lighting, the screens glow green and violet for some scenes, glimmer like moonstones and tourmalines in others." San Jose Mercury News

Pledging My LovePledging My Love, Magic Theatre: "Try to get to the Magic Theatre at least 20 minutes early for its new production of "Pledging My Love." The preface is a 20-minute sunset fade-out, exquisitely lit by Kurt Landisman, on the pool, terrace and loggia of a luxurious home in the Hollywood Hills. As the colors darken on the backdrop, tiny lights begin to twinkle on the hillsides behind the house: other overpriced islands of illusory peace. When the play starts, don't go home, much as you're tempted. "Pledging My Love" lasts only 62 minutes, and though 58 of them are a waste of time, you're already seated and there's lots to see." San Jose Mercury News

Triptych, Magic Theatre: "Director Paul Whitworth is presenting a very sharp production with an excellent set by Kate Edmunds. The set includes three separate areas, with two on the floor of the stage and a third built up to represent the daughter's bedroom. The two ground floor sets represent Henry and Pauline's living room stage left and Clarissa's theater dressing room stage right. Lighting by Kurt Landisman is top drawer."

Fugitive Kind, Marin Theatre Company: "In the case of Fugitive Kind, however, the directing and designing team put their faith in Williams's vision of the play, and they created the space as he conceived it. Lyricism pulsated from the walls and an expressionistic landscape of light and shadow threw into relief the realism of benches and banisters. The production captured a previous decade in its details while echoing current economic woes in its generalities, and in doing so it proved itself quite relevant to a new audience." The Tennessee Williams Annual Review

A Perfect Ganesh, Marin Theatre Company: "Steve Coleman's pristine set is a temple of white, straight lines and pillars framing a semi-circular stage and a large, suitably ornate statue of Ganesha. Kurt Landisman's lights suffuse the rear wall in deep, sensual orange, blue, red, lavender, teal and apricot glows. Laura Hazlett's costumes create a vivid panoply of idiosyncratic international get-ups -- not to mention Ganesha's jubilantly floppy-eared and fat-bodied splendor. Dan Brandon provides the all-important environmental sound effects." San Francisco Examiner

Urinetown, Foothill Music Theatre: "Kurt Landisman's lighting design helps create a stark atmospheric shift going from the lowlife city streets to the UGC boardroom high up in the "gleaming tower on the hill." The dingy brick front of Amenity no. 9 has an ultraviolet glow, lit from behind, for a dingy, eerie mood. The UGC office is lit from the front in whites and mauves, and in this relatively bright light, diamonds glitter from watchbands and earrings." Silicon Valley Metro

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