Black Friday was an intense, stressful and rewarding day for Longwood theatre professor Scott Chapman, but not because he was looking to score the best shopping deals. Instead, Chapman was in New York serving as lighting designer for the Big Apple premiere of Kris Kringle The Musical at The Town Hall theater just off Broadway.

It was a significant opportunity for Chapman, as well as for Longwood senior Elton Bradley, who assisted on the production and got to share in the excitement.

“It’s a really fun show,” Chapman said. “Christmas is my favorite time of the year and favorite holiday, so working on a Christmas show is a dream come true for me.”

That practical experience is invaluable, and it will be a major credit for Elton that will set his résumé apart.

Longwood theatre professor Scott Chapman

This is the second time Chapman, assistant professor of theatre and resident scenic and lighting designer at Longwood, has been involved in producing this show. He previously served as lighting designer when it premiered in Cleveland in 2015. The production was revised last year, and this was the premiere of the reworked version.

Bradley, a senior theatre major whose primary focus is lighting design and technology, served as assistant lighting designer and ran the light board during the production. Bradley was already familiar with the equipment because the theater uses the same light board that Longwood has on campus.

“It’s really a big deal to be able to work on the show again and get to bring another theatre student with me,” Chapman said. “Working on a production is considered research and scholarship for theatre students. That practical experience is invaluable, and it will be a major credit for Elton that will set his résumé apart.”

Chapman and Bradley drove to New York on Sunday, Nov. 19. During the first part of the week, they attended rehearsals and took part in the load-in of equipment at the venue. Then there was an orchestra rehearsal on Thanksgiving Day.

The show ran for two performances on Nov. 24 at The Town Hall, a historic venue located on West 43rd Street, in between Sixth Avenue and Broadway. Chapman and Bradley travelled back to Farmville on Saturday, Nov. 25th, the day after the production wrapped.

“It was a very intense week,” Chapman said. “It’s like going from the minors to the big leagues.”

Lighting is such a powerful and important area of design because it can change the mood of the audience in a subtle way—or in a bold way. It helps tell the audience how to feel.

Longwood theatre professor Scott Chapman

This is the second time Chapman, assistant professor of theatre and resident scenic and lighting designer at Longwood, has been involved in producing this show. He previously served as lighting designer when it premiered in Cleveland in 2015. The production was revised last year, and this was the premiere of the reworked version.

Bradley, a senior theatre major whose primary focus is lighting design and technology, served as assistant lighting designer and ran the light board during the production. Bradley was already familiar with the equipment because the theater uses the same light board that Longwood has on campus.

“It’s really a big deal to be able to work on the show again and get to bring another theatre student with me,” Chapman said. “Working on a production is considered research and scholarship for theatre students. That practical experience is invaluable, and it will be a major credit for Elton that will set his résumé apart.”

Chapman and Bradley drove to New York on Sunday, Nov. 19. During the first part of the week, they attended rehearsals and took part in the load-in of equipment at the venue. Then there was an orchestra rehearsal on Thanksgiving Day.

The show ran for two performances on Nov. 24 at The Town Hall, a historic venue located on West 43rd Street, in between Sixth Avenue and Broadway. Chapman and Bradley travelled back to Farmville on Saturday, Nov. 25th, the day after the production wrapped.

“It was a very intense week,” Chapman said. “It’s like going from the minors to the big leagues.”

The performances benefited The Singing Angels, a Cleveland-based charity with a mission to “encourage, foster and cultivate positive youth development by engaging youth from all communities in quality music and performing arts education.”

The show was narrated by legendary actress Cathy Rigby, who starred in the title role in Peter Pan on Broadway. The production was directed by Pierre-Jacques Brault, with Gerald Goehring, a Tony- and Grammy-nominated producer who was lead producer for A Christmas Story, the Musical, and John E. Thomas, the Tony-nominated producer of Little Women the Musical, serving as executive producers.

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