Merle DeWitt III

Lighting & Projections Designer
VIDEO Editor

The Importance of Being Earnest

Produced by UC, Irvine
Venue: UC Irvine Little Theatre, Irvine, CA
Directed by Shisher Kurup
Costumes Designed by Lauryn Moles
Sound Designed by Hunter Moody
Scenery Designed by Leah Ramillano
Properties Designed by Pam Marsden
Production Stage Manager: Samantha Sorin

Design Statement
In this production of The Importance of Being Earnest we as a design team strove to connect our audience to the production by bringing some of the moods of the later acts into more of a 1960’s feel. Along with modernizing the show, we as a team utilized elements of the surrealist movement to hint at some of the social undertones in this play. I utilized the influences of the surrealist movement in my lighting by cueing the show very theatrically to help progress the story. We started the show in the house of the theater and I didn't bring the house out until midway through the act, allowing the audience to forget about the fact a play has begun. The top of each act had more realistic lighting, based on the light sources of the day. With the early onset of electric light in Act 1, natural light for the outdoors in Act 2, and gaslighting for the less modern interior in Act 3. As we progressed into each Act and started learning more about the characters' ideas and motives. I started to follow the mood of the individual scenes making slight adjustments to the lighting to support the character arcs, while heightening the style of the show, to bridge the lighting into the more extreme looks for the transitions.