Halcyon Fixtures Illuminate The Outsiders on Broadway

With a dozen Tony nominations including ‘Best Musical’, The Outsiders is a true sensation on Broadway. Debuting at The Bernard Jacobs Theatre, the musical is based on S.E. Hinton’s classic novel and Francis Ford Coppola’s motion picture. The Tony nominated lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and Hana S. Kim utilizes 77 High End Systems Halcyon Titanium fixtures in the lighting plot to visually support PonyBoy Curtis’ class culture struggle in 1960’s Oklahoma. The show also uses ETC Source Four LED Series 3 Lustr fixtures and Eos lighting control. Supplied through PRG, the Halcyon luminaires are the true workhorses of the lighting rig, and are used extensively to illuminate The Outsiders’ set and performers.

Asked why Halcyon Titanium fixtures were specified, MacDevitt says, “I don’t really embrace new technology; I prefer incandescent lamps, so my palette was the VL3000, and I lit scenery with MAC 2K’s. Everything went back to ‘if it doesn’t emit heat, it won’t look good on people’, and this was my approach over the past 20 years.”

“The Outsiders takes place in 1960, so it’s about daylight, it’s really a naturalistic piece. I was looking for something that could give me that look, so I was very happy to find the Halcyon. They were recommended by David Arch, and PRG had some input, so I went and demoed them. There’s a theme in the show, ‘stay gold’, so we knew that we wanted the whole stage to turn gold at some point. We demoed them against an incandescent lamp at full, and at 15% for the whole color temperature curve, and we were able to match it. I was very happy with that!”

He continues, “I see this design emulating old world romantic paintings. Everything I learned in art history, I applied to the stage, especially in composition, but the color of the light was always candlelight and daylight, or sunset, i.e. Tuscan skies. Also, the Halcyon is fairly quiet; it’s a loud show from the amplification, but we do want to drop in for some really quiet scenes where there’s a lot of family drama. The show is a big expanse in terms of the dynamic.”

Associate Lighting Designer Nick Solyom adds, “The CTO on the Halcyon Titanium was exactly what we wanted. It gets us that really beautiful, warm color that Brian MacDevitt was after. We use them everywhere; there are a total of 77 Halcyon Titanium Ultra-Brights, essentially just one fixture choice. When we were doing the light plot, Brian wanted an all-spot rig, because he felt that the spots with the frost can do everything that a wash light can do. The TriFusion frost in the fixtures is a very useful feature. We used the Ultra-Bright versions because ‘The Outsiders’ is about punch as well as subtlety. And the Titanium is a great size, we could fit them on the electrics between the rain bars and borders.”

Photography by Matthew Murphy


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Bruce Jordahl
Bruce joined the ETC family in 2017. A former magazine editor and journalist, Bruce also worked in marketing at High End Systems throughout the 1990’s, returning as a consultant in 2012. At ETC he covers marketing for the High End Systems product range, and pinch hits on projects for other company departments. Based in Austin, Bruce is a musician and budding record producer, and was nicknamed ‘the ETC musical director’ at Workshop 2018, a moniker he is now comfortable with. He has enjoyed a long side career performing at lighting industry events, loves to talk about his amazing grandchildren, and gets occasional points for sending banana nut bread to his co-workers.