City Of Light/City Of Dark: Y.A.W. - 1999

Directed by Susan Worthing


My second summer show at Y.A.W. And what I consider to be my best there. City Of Light/City Of Dark was a musical based off of the graphic novel of the same name by Avi. A young woman has to return a mystical power to mysterious entities called The Kerbs. But an evil blind man named Thor Underton is also after the power. A VERY strange plot, but with so many wonderful costuming ideas. This play was full of magical animals, strange creatures and eccentric characters and I had a lot of fun trying to figure out exactly what to do.

To make the show feel like the comic, I chose a pallet of nothing but black white and gray. The sets also conformed to my pallet. Luckily it was set in a contemporary time so finding clothes for our leads were rather easy. The Kerbs were originally going to be shadows behind a white drop, but it proved to be a bit too technically challenging for our theater. So I did my best for make them look like shadows. Even though they aren't wearing their gloves in the photo, the Kerbs were covered head to toe in black accept their mouths. That combined with the dim lighting created a wonderful effect that pleasantly suprised me.

My absolute favorites though were Scotos the dog, and a flock of dancing hostile pigeons. Since Scotos was the faithful servant to Thor Underton, I thought butler theme for him would be best. I accented a tailcoat with black and white fur, and in replace of a bow tie, a spiked dog collar was used. Kudos to David Ebong who back flipped off a wall wearing that tail coat. The pigeons were interesting to say the least. How do you make a flock of birds look menacing? Dancing birds? The route I wanted to avoid the most was putting the dancers in large bird costumes. So after a afternoon of brainstorming with the choreographer, we realized that making them look more like gangsters and less like birds would be a good way to go about it. So I followed suit as I did with Scotos but using men's pinstriped coats accented with feathers, and feathered masks to give the feeling of birds. The choreography did the rest,