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A Bumper Crop of Praiseworthy Projects

Nook Schoenfeld • Editor's NoteSeptember 2019 • September 10, 2019

Ah, it’s September. Some things can always be counted on this month. The kids are in school, the summer shed tours are winding down, we’re all cooling off a little bit and the PLSN House of Worship highlighted issue hits the coffee tables.

‡‡         House of Worship Focus

Once again, we’re proud to have found some amazing shows to cover, from theater extravaganzas to the grassy fairgrounds of Oshkosh, WI to perhaps the first Catholic church we’ve heard of that has brought in high-tech production elements.

The life of Jesus, the son of God as written in the New Testament of the Bible, is portrayed in an amazing theatrical production on stage at the Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, PA (page 26). Full-on video, staging and lighting (we counted well over 500 ETC Source Four fixtures alone) take over as the audience is wrapped 270° in spectacle.

Every five years, the International Pathfinder Camporee takes place. This year, close to 55,000 folks descended upon this Wisconsin community as days filled with fun activities, honors, events, and ministry opportunities were supported by a monumental stage with great lighting, video and scenic elements (page 38).

‡‡         Designers at Work

We get to sit down and chat with renowned lighting designer Andrew Dunning on his work, blurring the line between corporate and House of Worship consulting (page 52). His life has certainly followed his chosen path.

Morris Light and Sound has certainly become an industry leader to turn to for remodeling your House of Worship. Each year they look after several clients, but this one was quite particular. They wanted to pay as the work progressed and remain debt-free despite having a state of the art entertainment package to help spread the Lord’s work (page 46).

On a separate front, we traveled outside of Detroit where, steeped in tradition, the vast majority of Catholic churches have avoided the color-mixing theatrical and entertainment lighting that have become a familiar part of services at many Protestant houses of worship. St. Malachy decided it was time to break from the norm and attract their next generation of worshippers (page 48).

‡‡         Concert Stars and Moon Landings

Besides all of that, we’ve got our usual Production Profiles and Designer Insights features, with mega stars Shawn Mendes (page 22) and Khalid (page 64). We also cast a wide focus on what Paul McCartney (page 34) and Thomas Rhett (page 30) are doing on their productions this summer.

This month, we talk to a whole cast of characters. Doug Pope, longtime stage manager for Neil Diamond, among many other projects, chats about his long, distinguished career (page 50). On the flip side of that, we introduce you to Parnelli NextGen tour manager Henry Bordeaux, who has been reading the pages of PLSN since he was 16, wondering if he’d ever make it into the magazine himself. (He did this month, page 57). He’s at the top of his game, working on Tyler the Creator’s show along with production manager Arthur Kemish, and we’re glad you get to know him.

Switching genres of lighting, we spent some time talking with Brandon Stirling Baker, (page 44), a young man who has become quite in demand in his field,
Lighting for Ballet. He thinks it’s important that people understand the historical context of that artistic niche.

Last month featured the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. With a large scale show to commemorate the event, a projected rocket on the side of the Washington monument blasted off to thunderous cheers and millions of TV viewers. We checked in with the principals involved to see how they pulled this event off (page 70).

As usual, we wrap it up with a few articles that are a bit off the beaten path. We take a trip with a few people who have brought the art of mixing oil, water, and ink with more modern day projections for bit of “Mad Alchemy” projections (page 68). San Holo expands his production to back up his appearance at Red Rocks (page 42), and we see who this guy is and who’s responsible for his live looks.

2019 is turning out to be a bumper crop year for visual design, and the summer harvest is just getting underway. Stay tuned for a cornucopia of coverage in PLSN in October and November!

For PLSN editor Nook Schoenfeld’s video intro to the Sept. 2019 issue of PLSN, go to


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