Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jean Rosenthal

Born this day in 1912: Jean Rosenthal (1912–1969), innovator who revolutionized theatrical lighting design

Rosenthal’s interest in theatre and lighting design were inspired by the work of Martha Graham. During her career Rosenthal worked with not only Graham, but also Gian Carlo Menotti John Houseman, and Orson Wells, and on many Broadway musicals, operas, and ballets—creating lighting design for more than 300 productions. Working with Graham, however, gave her the greatest opportunity for creativity and her greatest joy. Rosenthal described her use of light as giving performers a “jewel-like” quality. “Light is quite tactile to me. It has shape and dimension.” Her work created the art of lighting design, which had up until her innovations had been stale formulas for indicating day, night, cheerful, and serious.

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