For Ohio Northern’s production of Beauty and the Beast, the director Matt Simpkins wanted to make a new aesthetic for the show: ominous, mysterious and dramatic yet still enchanting. This was not to be your typical Beauty and the Beast. Because of the director’s film background, the scenery was to act as film set where projections set the environment for each section. Lighting was to highlight the dark mood of the piece while also acting as the “close up” for the intimate nature many of the scenes have. Backlight was very important for separating the actors from the projections/scenery but also because of the desire to see the shafts of light coming thru the space. Between fog, dry ice and/or haze, one was always running during the show. Seeing actors in silhouette with the contrasts of light and dark was integral to the mood of the piece. Even during “Be Our Guest” the quintessential musical theatre extravaganza, Bella and Lumiere were the only two characters completely visible, the others were lit with sidelight, backlight or footlights.
DeVault, Kathe, "Beauty and the Beast Lighting Design" (2021). Theatre Arts Faculty Scholarship. 1.