September 27, 2013

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By Matt Hughes

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Kyle Montgomery '15 had spent more than a week in Harvey Powers Theatre preparing his contribution to the Theatre and Dance Open House, but when the house lamps dropped, spotlights beamed and the dance of colors began, he was watching it for the first time.

During a frantic 10 days in August, Montgomery, Kellen Peter '16, Joe Duvall '16 and Entertainment Technical Assistant Noah Fram set up 80 lights and fog machines, programmed 304 lighting cues and created a 3D sound mix, all for a three-minute light show set to the songs "1901" and "Lisztomania" by Phoenix.

The three students returned from summer break early to volunteer their efforts for the Theatre and Dance Open House, an annual event introducing the department and its upcoming events to the campus community. The lightshow has become an an annual highlight of the event in recent years, and Montgomery, who has volunteered as a stagehand and technical assistant since his first year, offered to take charge of the project.

"I stepped up and volunteered to do organize it and lead it," Montgomery said. "I by no means did it single-handedly. All of the work for the show from the creative process to the final product took place within 10 days."

The students worked in teams programming cues to finish the project on a constricted schedule; Montgomery finished his section, the last, just minutes from showtime. "I had never seen the entire show all the way through with everyone's pieced together," Montgomery said. "None of us had, so it was really an awesome experience to see it all for the first time. We all looked at each other at the end like, 'that was sweet.'"

The result of their work is all the more impressive given that none of the students majors in theatre. Montgomery, the light show director, is a mechanical engineering major.

"I really didn't know anything about lighting when I came in here," Montgomery said. "We try to inspire people at open house to say, 'hey, you can do a lot of really cool things here.'"