A Tony Award-winning lighting designer visited Troy University last weekend to work with students who performed the show for which he won the prestigious award.
Jeff Croiter, whose work on “Peter and the Starcatcher” won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a Play, visited the Troy Campus to watch students from the Department of Theatre and Dance produce that show, and to host a master class in which he talked with students about working in the theatre industry.
For Croiter, the chance to see someone else perform a play with which is closely attached was something he couldn’t resist.
“It might be emotional,” Croiter said Friday before one of the showtimes. “I’m excited to see it. I’ve always wanted to see someone else do the show, and hopefully this won’t be the last time I see it.”
Croiter worked on “Peter and the Starcatcher” from its conception in a workshop years ago.
“’Peter and the Starcatcher’ changed my life,” he said. “I was the lighting designer, and I have done that version of the show five or six times. I knew it was great from the second I read it, (and) I knew it was a special show from the first rehearsal I saw. Even in that small workshop, I knew there could be something special about the design of the show.”
He worked closely with the show’s two directors and writer to make sure their ideas were realized visually.
“It was years of development and learning the storytelling, how specifically we wanted to convey that story to an audience,” Croiter said. “It was very collaborative. I felt it was important to be on the same page as them, and I felt like we were every step of the way.”
Department chair Tori Lee Averett called it a rare opportunity for students to perform for and learn from an industry veteran like Croiter.
“Just to hear what it’s like to be a theatre artist in the working world, along with the technical and production aspects, will be incredible,” she said. “Hopefully he enjoys (the show) and responds to the performance. All of this is an incredible opportunity for our students.”
“Peter and the Starcatcher” will be performed through this weekend at the Trojan Center Theater.