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    Artist Masterclass: Chris Swain

    • 24 Mar
      24 Mar - 24 Mar 2021


    A masterclass with Chris Swain

    A workshop for all theatre makers who want to integrate compelling lighting into their work. Open to all theatre practitioners, designers and collaborators (including but not limited to: actors, directors, choreographers, producers, and technicians).

    Every moment of your work onstage is flavoured somehow by the way it is lit. Lighting design can add a layer of meaning and support storytelling. It is integral to the audience’s understanding, elevates production values, and can directly influence emotion.

    Lighting designers are key collaborators in making a piece, yet often can only experiment at the very end stages of the rehearsal process. By understanding how lighting design works – and a little about the technology and terminology – theatre makers can make lighting a more effective tool to aid the stories you want to tell and support lighting designers to do their best work.

    The workshop will be tailored to specific interests but will broadly address:

    • Understanding the concepts of lighting design
    • A little lighting terminology – what various lighting angles are and what they do
    • A brief introduction to lighting technology – and the impact of LED lighting on what can be achieved
    • Lighting design at the different stages of the design and rehearsal process
    • How to bring lighting into a devising process and give power to the ensemble
    • How to get the best from your rig on a budget
    • How to think about lighting for a touring show

    Chris is a lighting designer based in Bristol. He is one of the key collaborators with the devising physical theatre company Gecko. Lighting design for the company over the last ten years includes a little space, The Dreamer, Time of Your life, Institute, and Missing. He is currently working with the company to develop their next production.

    He has also worked extensively with Tobacco Factory Theatres, on productions including: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Our Country’s Good, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Beautiful Thing and Blue Heart.

    As well as lighting design Chris has toured extensively as a production manager and re-lighter both nationally and internationally, working in China, the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Russia and throughout Europe.

    Chris is a visiting lecturer at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and currently teaches lighting at Access Creative College in Bristol.


    Chris’s masterclass is part of an expanding programme at Tobacco Factory Theatres.

    Our theatre owes so much to freelance and independent artists, who have created almost everything we’ve presented over the last 20 years. These exceptionally talented and professional colleagues have been confronted with huge challenges through Covid-19, whilst on the whole receiving far less support than venues.

    Last year we partnered with The Cube Microplex to distribute hardship grants to local artists with acute financial difficulties, funded by The Gane Trust.

    This year, whilst we continue to work on our long-term survival, we aim to support local artists in new and varied ways.

    The first initiative is our Masterclasses Programme, designed for South West-based professional artists, and led by a range of inspiring practitioners.

    • RUNNING TIME3 hours

    Wed 24 March 2pm – 5pm

    Pay What You Choose – pay £3, £5, £12 or £20. Whatever you feel able to spend, session leaders will be fully paid for their work.

    Max 12 participants

    Masterclasses are designed for South-West based professional artists.

    Masterclasses are first available to book for our Artist Members, who receive a priority booking period of 3 days from Tue 16 February.
    It is free to become an Artist Member, and you can do so by emailing an introduction of yourself, where you live and your practice to artists@tobaccofactorytheatres.com

    If you require captioning or BSL interpretation of the sessions, or have any other access needs, please let us know.

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