Stage Manager Impressed by Divine Performing Arts Production

December 24, 2008 Updated: December 24, 2008

For stage manager Mark Bumgardner, Divine Performing Arts’ (DPA) stop in Houston was not only a unique event but also offered an unexpected visual experience.

Bumgardner has been the stage manager at the Jones Hall for Performing Arts for over 14 years and has overseen productions from Disney’s “Lion King” to comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which often involved complex backdrops and lighting.

While on the set of DPA, however, Bumgardner found something unexpected.

“[The show] was one of those where you don’t really know what to expect until it gets here,” said Bumgardner.

What impressed Bumgardner the most was the digital backdrops used by DPA alongside the performers. According to Bumgardner, coordination between the backdrop with the performers, music, and even the colors of the costumes is something rarely seen in most theatrical productions.

“The way they incorporated the backdrop with the projectors and the scenery behind it was constantly changing and matched the costumes and matched the whole set and live orchestra, it’s rare,” said Bumgardner. “You can’t find that anywhere. It’s very unique and very nice.”

It was very cutting edge, says Bumgardner.

“It was awesome the way they did that,” said Bumgardner. “It was so minimal and yet so effective.”

Bumgardner was also surprised by the simple lighting used by DPA.

While most shows rely on special effects and lighting, it was surprising that DPA used only white light, says Bumgardner.

“But this show relied on costumes and dance and people,” said Bumgardner. “It didn’t need extra enhancement since the show itself is just so beautiful.”


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