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Let There Be Light

Ben Pilat (CFA’08) recently was honored for his lighting design achievements

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A theatrical performance has many components, from actors and costumes to stage and sets. For Ben Pilat (CFA’08), a key element of any production is light.

Pilat, who designed the lighting for February’s production of The Magic Flute by the College of Fine Arts Opera Institute and school of theatre and also lighted the school of theatre productions Red Noses and Rhinoceros at the BU Theatre, was recently awarded the 2008 United States Institute for Theatre Technology Barbizon Lighting Design Award. The award, sponsored by the USITT and Barbizon Lighting Company, is given to one graduate student or recent graduate nationally who demonstrates excellence or outstanding potential in lighting design.

Pilat started in theater as an actor, but says he discovered that acting wasn’t the only way to tell a story on stage. “I chose lighting because of the ability it has to shape a stage picture and heighten the emotional experience,” he says. “I’m still a storyteller, but my medium is light.”

“Light has the power to heighten the theatrical experience and should engage audiences on a visual, mental, and emotional level,” Pilat wrote in his competition submission. “As a designer, I strive to create environments that add new dimensions to the storytelling that takes place on stage.”

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.

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