The 2008 Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific has become a critically acclaimed success. The revival has won seven Tony Awards, including the Tony for Best Lighting Design of a Musical. To help create his award-winning lighting, South Pacific’s designer Donald Holder enlisted an ETC Eos control console. Holder and his staff looked for a board that could easily control a multimedia-filled lighting rig, including hundreds of ETC Source Four fixtures from Jands .
According to Holder, the Eos is suitable for sophisticated and fluid control of both conventional and automated lighting. The Eos offers options for tracking, multipart and overlapping cues.
According to Holder, South Pacific required a single system that could provide automated lighting control and be accessible for programming the conventional side of the rig. He felt that the Eos was the only choice for this project. Bruce Rubin, South Pacific conventional-lighting programmer and head electrician agrees and states that with the Eos, it is the same language for both conventional and moving lights, which is a big time-saver when it comes to troubleshooting a problem.
The Eos was designed with partitioned control capabilities, allowing multiple users to build content into one show file. This meant that South Pacific’s moving-light programmer and conventional programmer could build their looks into one show file, with no show file merging or reliance on external triggers to operate as one system.
Holder says that the user-friendly syntax and easily accessible, well-designed displays made it much easier to communicate and collaborate with the moving light programmer, Victor Seastone. These features were particularly useful on South Pacific, since it was imperative that the moving lights were seamlessly incorporated into the overall visual landscape of the production.
Holder’s sophisticated lighting effects are essential in evoking South Pacific’s memorable moods and settings. He says that the Eos can handle multipart and overlapping cues efficiently and they were able to assign discrete timing to individual fixtures. The show includes many slow and complex crossfades from midday to sunset, and on to twilight and evening. The Eos accomplishes these transitions subtly.