Moodiest Theatrical Illumination

Lighting Designer Jim Cave

While he designs for other theaters — Campo Santo and Word for Word in San Francisco, for example, and the one-man shows Love and Taxes and 21 Dog Years at the Berkeley Rep — it’s at the Aurora where Jim Cave’s work really, pardon us, shines. His understanding of both the plays he lights and the theater’s space is total, suggesting echoes of the sea in Aurora’s production of The Chairs or the reddish wasteland in The Persians. His Thérèse Raquin was full of ominous filigreed shadows, and the lighting on The Shape of Things was as stark and unforgiving as the manipulative woman at the story’s core. Warm and inviting or searing and harsh, Cave’s lighting designs often tell us as much about the story as the text itself, blending smoothly with the shapes and colors of set and costumes.

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