When “Ghost” the movie premiered in 1990 it was a big hit so it wasn’t surprising that the romantic drama film was adapted for the stage, playing in the West End, on Broadway and a long running First National Tour. Lighting designer Matt Guminski lit a reworked version of the show recently at the White Plains Performing Arts Center in White Plains, New York, using a rig that included Elation Professional Satura Profile and Platinum Seven LED moving heads.
Guminski worked with Master Electrician and assistant LD Lizzie Mahoney on the adapted version of the play at the 410-seat professional theatre outside of New York City. Described as a visually stunning show, lighting and projection worked seamlessly together to create the alluring atmospheres that are such a key component of the experience. “We used the Satura Profiles several ways to help create the mood, as template washes, specials and aerial effects,” Guminski stated. “The framing was especially useful as it allowed for ultimate control. It was a box set with multiple projection surfaces so it was important that the projection on the scrim not be washed out.”
The LED-based Satura Profile with CMY color mixing, 4-blade rotating framing shutter system, gobos, prism and other design features is a fixture that Guminski is well familiar with, having used them in shows like “Heathers,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and “High Society.” For “Ghost the Musical” the LD used six Satura Profiles in total, two on the near box booms at FOH, three on the first electric and one upstage on a very high trimmed fifth electric.
Guminski explains that sometimes the type of lighting used was motivated by the projection looks while at other times, when using a very saturated look for example, the projection would follow the lighting’s lead. “The Saturas punched through to create some really special moments even with layered templates or the iris aperture closed way down,” he says. “I used the variable CTO several times throughout the show and they blended well with the tungsten rig. I continue to be impressed with them. They are a rock solid fixture.”
Three Platinum Seven LED moving heads, rigged in a triangle configuration, two downstage and one upstage, were used throughout the performance for backlight color and layered tonality. “The Platinum Seven allows for a lot more color choice and has great punch,” Guminski said of the fixture that houses 19x 25W multi-chip LEDs (RGBW + Amber, Cyan and UV). The Platinum Seven houses a 5° to 50° zoom and for a powerful projection of smooth color. A selection of linear color temperature presets also makes it an excellent color matching unit. “I used them at the full zoom range and they still cut right through without losing its effectiveness.”
“Ghost the Musical” at the White Plains Performing Arts Center ran from October 13-29 and was the first showing of an adapted, simplified version of the play that featured a smaller cast of ten. It starred Natalie Weiss (Les Miserables, Wicked) and Steven Douglas (Ghost First National Tour) and, according to Guminski, was “very well received.”