The Lighting of Social Creatures


Today we were lucky to talk with Karen Thompson, lighting designer for Social Creatures. Read below to hear about the balance she had to find to support her design and why shes loves what she does!

Tympanic: What drew you to become a lighting designer?

Karen: I got into lighting by a fluke: one day I happened to be the only one in my college scene shop who wasn't afraid of heights, so they put me on a ladder with a light to hang. After couple shows of hanging and focusing most of the plots, I figured design was the next natural step. I loved the subtlety of it; the way light can really change and shape a scene and yet it happens in a way that goes largely unnoticed.

Tympanic: What inspiration did you draw from for the design in Social Creatures?

Karen: I was told early on that they wanted a strings of work lights around the space that, in the world of the play, was really their main source of light. So the idea for the show was to use practical lights and find subtle ways to support those.

Tympanic: What challenges did this show have? How did you overcome?

Karen: Keeping the balance between practical lights and theatrical lights was sometimes a challenge. It's supposed to be a dimly lit space, and as with any show like that, you have to be careful to keep some kind of visibility without sacrificing mood.

Tympanic: Got a favorite horror film?/ Why?

Karen: I'm not a horror fan, generally, but if I had to pick, I'd say The Others. It's just the right amount of creepy.

Tympanic: Why should people come and see Social Creatures?

Karen: It manages to walk the line of fun (and funny!) and unsettling.



Social Creatures by Jackie Sibblies Drury

Directed by Nathan Robbel

Oct 31 – Nov 16 @ the Den Fri – Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 3pm

Get tickets HERE!