Dr Nick Hunt’s mixed media essay, The Operator Connects, which describes his research investigation into the role of the theatre lighting operator, went online in early December 2013 at www.passages-project.org.uk
The practical investigation took place through a research-performance Passages. The Operator Connects is in part a critical reflection on this investigation, and comprises a collection of inter-related mini-essays in video, diagrammatic, photographic and text forms, offering the reader diverse ways to explore and interrogate the research process and outcomes.
Dr Hunt writes:
In theatres the lighting operator is conventionally located in a control room at the rear of the auditorium, out of view and disconnected from the stage action. There is little expectation in conventional theatre practice that the operator will be creatively involved in the moment of performance. In my investigation I proposed the role might be reformed to engage the operator with the creative realisation of the performance event. My initial research examined the changing spatial position of the operator at different periods and theorised the ‘circuit of energy’ between audience and performers. I went on to undertake a practical investigation of the impact of relocating the now creatively-active lighting operator so as to be seen by both audience and actors.