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  • Writer's pictureDana Erickson

Skyler Erickson & Juanita Christensen win a 2023 Jerry Award for Lighting Design

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

[Juanita] and I did the lighting design for both Addams Family and Little [Shop of Horrors]. The Jerry Awards are based out of Madison and there was 105 high schools that entered this year. Out of the 105 only 18 were chosen as Outstanding Musicals and we were one of them which is really incredible. Our cast then got to go down to the Overture Center and perform on the Overture Center Stage a 6 minute number that showcased them. With the Jerry Awards they bring 3 different judges to your performances and they judge everything from direction, choreography, costumes, lighting, scenic, sound, orchestra, every and anything you can think. They then send a 25 page document with all of their comments on the show and the design. Here were some of the comments they wrote regarding lighting design... :)

"Lighting was Fantastic! There were many fun looks with different color choices and dimensions to play with."

"Wow!! The Design team of this show really hit it out of the Park! The lighting was executed on time and managed to add a lot of cool touches!"

"The lighting design of the show was phenomenal and like another character in itself. Extremely playful from the beginning window sequence coordinating with the snaps, the lighting established time, place and mood very well and was not afraid to have fun, as shown in moments like "The Moon and Me" and "Pulled." The spot operation was sharp and dynamic, and was often used as fabulous punctuation on numbers like "One Normal Night." it is clear that the lighting was detailed and very collaborative at every step of the creative process."

"Such vibrant lighting! You had great use of color, particularly on the upper level by the doors. The colorful lighting chase during "feed me" was wonderful! I also very much liked the use of lighting and sound to produce the effect of the motorcycle without actually having to show it - very clever. The practical streetlight and bulbs were a really nice touch as well."

"I appreciated the balance and creativity used in the lighting design. It was consistent and effective in how it supported the storytelling. I enjoyed the use of color and diversity of lighting equipment to aid in setting the space and time."

Juanita is really great to work with and I love that she pays really close attention to every element just as I do. Because of her precision and hard work it didn't go unnoticed but the judges which is why she received her award for Lighting Design!

Skyler R. Erickson Special Education Teacher, Sparta High School Musical Director and Assistant Show Choir Director

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