Lighting for a Burst of Brilliance!

I wonder if causing temporary pain to the audience is within the bounds of ethical theatre conduct? I mean…if it’s done in the name of ART, surely it must be fine. I’d issue a warning, but then that would ruin the purpose of the piece, and we can’t have something like that.

You see, my debut play is about to be performed in one of the most prestigious theatres in all of Melbourne: the South Yarumba Theatre Hall (and Community Centre). Now, if we were in a…uh, slightly BIGGER theatre, like one on Regent Street, perhaps this wouldn’t be so much of a problem. But despite Yarumba having many advantages- ample parking, for example- their lighting needs some upgrading. With the larger theatres in Melbourne, commercial LED lighting isn’t really a problem. They have that sorted to the point where you could probably ratchet them up and blind the entire audience without issue. However, there’s one point in my play where the main character undergoes a dramatic transformation process from weak, unskilled office worker to super-strong alien warrior, and I just don’t think the act of him tearing off his clothes to reveal his super-suit underneath and slicking back his hair really does it. It lacks…oomph. It all needs more of the wow-factor, and I’m thinking that some really powerful lighting could do it. Just a really powerful bust of light, and people will still be seeing spots on their vision while my main character is changing into his more heroic form.

So…anyone got any really powerful industrial LED lighting solutions that we can borrow, just for this one production? And on a lesser note, will it increase the drama to force the audience to shield their watering eyes, or…not? They’re be pretty surprised anyway; the alien thing is a plot twist. They all think they’re coming to see a Victorian-era period piece about a chambermaid having an affair with the footman.