HOLLYWOOD, CA – It is fitting that the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre will host the third annual CHAUVET Professional Student Lighting Showcase on Saturday April 16. Since it was acquired by the Montalbán foundation in 1999, the 90-year-old building, which was once the premier live theater venue in the Los Angeles area, has been devoted to providing young people with opportunities to develop their skills in the performing arts.
“We’re excited to be holding our Student Showcase at the Montalbán Theatre,” said DeAnna Padgett, National Sales Manager of CHAUVET Professional. “The goals of the foundation that runs this theatre are really in keeping with the educational mission of our program.”
Started in 2014, the CHAUVET Professional Student Lighting Showcase has had teams of two to three students from college theater programs in the LA area work under the guidance of educators to create lighting designs for different pieces of music. Their work is then critiqued by professional designers. In the past, the event was held at Chauvet’s Burbank showroom, but the move to the Montalbán Theatre will provide students with a more enriching learning experience, according to Padgett. “The sightlines and the realistic theatrical setting here can’t be matched in a showroom,” she said.
This year students will be asked to light songs from the movies. Allowed to select any 3-4 minute song they choose, they will be required to focus on specific elements on the Montalbán Theatre stage, such as a drum kit or guitar stand, in their design. Noted programmer Joe Spangler will provide each student team with one hour and 45 minutes of programming time. “Joe has generously given his time to us from the beginning,” said Padgett.
When creating their lightshows, students will have access to a complete array of CHAUVET Professional fixtures, including PVP X3 LED video panels, Next NXT-1 moving LED panels, Nexus 4×4 panels and more. “This is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience using state-of-the-art fixtures and do things like pixel mapping,” said Padgett. “We still hear from students who were at our first event and they tell us it’s an experience they’ll always remember.”
Schools participating in the CHAUVET Professional Student Lighting Showcase include University of California Irvine, CalArts, California State Long Beach and UCLA. “We’ve had great cooperation from the schools and professors, who share our enthusiasm for this project,” said Padgett. “People like Anne Militello of CalArts have been behind our efforts from the beginning and have provided invaluable help.”
Also providing invaluable help have been Los Angeles-area lighting designers who appeared at previous CHAUVET Professional Student Lighting Showcases to interact with students during the evening review of their lighting designs and the ensuing cocktail hour. “We’ve been very gratified by the number of lighting designers who have turned out for this event and their commitment to supporting students,” said Padgett. “We can’t release names of the LDs who will be at this year’s event, but we’ll have a great deal of support. This is a very giving profession, and designers are always eager to help young people who are starting out.”