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WSD2017|A Lesson Before Dying
1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances
and diverse events,attracted over 15,000 visitors from 71 countries.


Emerging Designers

United States of America

Maranda DeBusk

A Lesson Before Dying

Selected Category: Lighting Design

Category: Lighting Design

Design Statement

In rural Louisiana in the 1940's, Jefferson is a young black man facing death by electrocution for a murder he didn’t commit. Grant is the new school teacher, looking for a way out of this small town when Ms. Emma, Jefferson’s godmother, charges him to teach Jefferson how to be a man before his walk to the electric chair.

This play tackles one of society’s eternal questions, making it both temporal and perpetual. It is the story of two young men in 1948 learning how to stand up for themselves. As such, the design was both realistic and grand. Throughout most of the play, we were in Bayonne, Louisiana; but, at the moments of deepest self-reflection, we needed to break that convention and show a broader truth so that Jefferson’s death is not a gruesome scene at the hands of a corrupt judicial system, but a step toward hope for something greater.

Maranda DeBusk

Maranda DeBusk is a lighting and projection designer. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Lighting Design and Digital Media from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from Furman University. Her recent work for the University of Tennessee includes the Lighting Design for Around the World in 80 Days, the Sound Design for The Busy Body, and the Projection Design for Violet. Other notable credits include Lighting Design for Harvest, a touring production with Phoenix World Theatre based out of Kochi, India; Associate Lighting Design for Sweeney Todd at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts; and Projection Design for Higher Ground 5: Find a Way, a community performance initiative which addressed the disillusionment of Appalachian youth with the economic and political state of their region. Maranda believes in the power to create change in our communities through the dramatic arts. The greatest work is that which when letting out into the world, improves it.

Email Address: maranda.debusk@gmail.com

Theatre Company Clarence Brown Theatre

The Premiere Date of Production 2016-02-24

The Premiere Space of Production Carousel Theatre

Author Romulus Linney

Director/ Choreographer Andrea Dymond

Set Designer Henry Wilkinson

Lighting Designer Maranda DeBusk

Costume Designer Olivia Trees

Sound Designer Mike Ponder