Jon Craine

Entertainment Design

Illumination // Cirque Dreams tour

Debuted in September 2009 at the Durham Performing Arts Center before embarking on a national tour, Cirque Dreams Illumination is a two act, 90 minute spectacular set in an urban environment under an elevated train. Created by Artistic Director Neil Goldberg, the show blends “world renowned imagination, critically acclaimed theatrical innovation and breathtaking presentation into a story that illuminates a city of everyday people, workers and pedestrians into feats of disbelief. A cast of 27 world-class artists illuminate objects, balance on wires, leap structures and redefine flight with entertaining variety, comedy and extraordinary occurrences that reinvent everyday life. Urban acrobatics, dazzling choreography and brilliant illusions are ignited by special effects performed to a stylish original score of jazz, salsa, ballroom, pop and trendy beats from the streets.” (excerpted from Cirque Productions)

Jon Craine set the scene under the el train with scenic elements that represent the foundation of a city, including garage doors, alley ways, fire escapes, and a variety of street dressing that ordinary people find extraordinary applications for.  Garbage cans transform into props for a performer’s act; the frame of a doorway comes off a building and is used as a prop for a silent movie; a bathtub comes out of a washroom and is the setting for an aerial water act; performers swing around scaffolding and fire escapes that double as parallel bars. The textures are authentic (concrete, brick, stone, steel, rust, graffiti) but a bit exaggerated in color to convey the extraordinary nighttime theme.

Designed and fabricated to tour in two trucks, the visually elaborate set is actually comparatively simple and features an upstage drop, and one set of mid-stage and down-stage legs in combination with three hard profile cut portals designed with forced perspective to represent the supports of the elevated train. Framing the proscenium are 2 vertical scenic truss members that carry the elevated train structure out onto the stage apron. All the scenery incorporates Rosco VividFX fluorescent paint treatments, allowing for brilliant scenic and lighting effects. The show is lit with a combination of ultraviolet lighting, courtesy of 17 Wildfire units, and PARs for saturated color washes and moving lights for accents and act-specific lighting. The Wildfire fixtures are designated solely for illuminating the scenery, allowing for stunning special lighting effects that give the show a rock concert feel. (2009)

Creator/Director: Neil Goldberg
Scenic Design: Jon Craine
Lighting: Katie Johnston
Costumes: Nora Taylor and Santiago Rojo
Scene Shop: Proof Productions

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