Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Drama (MFA)

Degree Level





Shawn D. Irish

Committee Member

Michael Landman

Second Committee Member

Weston Wilkerson


Communication and the arts, Design, Illyria, Lighting, New orleans, Shakespeare, Twelfth night


The purpose of this thesis is to document the process and provide all the necessary materials for the realization of the lighting design for the University of Arkansas Department of Theatre’s 2015 production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. This thesis consists of the following materials: designer’s script analysis, design concept statement, historical and evocative research, Vectorworks overstage plot, Vectorworks section plot, LightWright paperwork, cue sheet, final magic sheets, and process evaluation. The materials provided are necessary to the design team, the electricians who hang the light plot, and the designer in order program the cues. Archival photography is included as well, in order to visually document the production.

Our production of Twelfth Night strove to tell the story of restoring balance in a turbulent world where characters became tangled in a comedic yet serious mess. This production also wanted to capture the underlying dramatic elements of the comedy that drastically shape the actions of the characters. The director stressed the importance of New Orleans as an overarching presence in the story both visually and metaphorically as this was the location she wanted to place the story. The history, culture, and class structures of New Orleans have strong parallels to the fictional world of Illyria. The light design for this production sought to bridge the dramatic world that created the characters’ actions with the comedic situations that arose. Most importantly, the light design sought to illuminate the unwritten character of New Orleans that played an integral part of the storyline.