Fluxion Scenic and Light

Lighting Design, Scenic Design and Event Production

in Austin,  Texas

by Stephen Pruitt and company...

Welcome! Thanks for checking out the fluxion website. I've been designing lighting and scenery and working in all aspects of the perfoming arts for over twenty years. These days I work primarily in dance and theater but I've done everything from the smallest shows to the biggest events; from no budget to six figures; from one dancer in a gallery to thousands of audience members in an airplane hangar, on an abandoned runway, or in an empty field. I love making new work in spaces with amazing people. This website is about showing off some of that work.

Two pieces of Big News! First, in June of 2014, I was named Outstanding Lighting Designer of the year by the 2014 Austin Critic's Table - the second time in 5 years I've received that honor. In addition, projects on which I served as Production Designer swept the dance categories, including Kathy Dunn Hamrick's The Undoing of Nonet which was recognized as best dance concert and Kathy Hamrick as best choreographer, Heloise Gold's Resonance as best short form work, and A'lante Flamenco's Prophecies as best ensemble. In all, I was either Production Designer or Lighting Designer on 6 out of the 7 nominees for Best Dance Concert - a testament to the amazing talent with whom I get to work on a regular basis. The second piece of news is that Fluxion Scenic and Light/Photography has moved into a new home. Now based out of Prizer Gallery, at 2023 East Cesar Chavez, my new photo studio and office shares a building with frequent collaborators Fusebox Festival and Forklift Danceworks in the heart of East Austin.


There are many examples of my design further in, but for a deeper look at some of the community oriented projects I've worked on, and how art can change the world, here are some links to KLRU's Arts in Context.

image from PowerUp!

PowerUp! - Forklift Danceworks

image from Silence to Power

The Materiality of Impermanence - Sharon Marroquin

image from materiality of impermanence

Silence to Power - Bonnie Cox

 

In addition, Trash Dance, the award winning documentary by Andrew Garrison about the making of Forklift Danceworks' The Trash Project, is now on Netflix.


As a general rule, my philosophy is that designs should almost never be trying to get noticed on their own. A good design supports the show and makes it better, but not so much that it pulls the focus of the audience away from the performance. Even so, it's always nice when someone notices all the hard work... Here are just a few of the things the critics had to say about past designs.

 

The Undoing of Nonet - Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance - 2013

Stephen Pruitt's lighting design serves the purposes of the dance but stands additionally as an artistic work in its own right. Standard flood lighting bulbs hanging from flexible cords point straight down... they form a plane above the stage, one that has the illusory effect of lowering the ceiling of the dance space... Pruitt’s design drapes layers of light and shadow across the dancers, like multiple layers of tulle or lace over a figure, and then shifts the layers through time and across space.- David Glen Robinson, austinlivetheater.com

group of dancers in a line under hanging lights

The lighting, designed by Stephen Pruitt, came from 65 or so halogen bulbs suspended from a wooden grid above the stage, and whenever a dancer's toe or finger brushed one of the bulbs, the entire apparatus swayed. Near the end of the piece, groups of the lights flickered, as if their power source was faltering. Soon after, the instruments' final tones faded into nothing, and dancer Shari Brown was alone, curled, just off-center. She stayed there long enough that, as though seasons had passed, her crouching human form surrendered its defense and became a beautiful, earthly shape. -Jonelle Seitz, Austin Chronicle.

powerup worker in front of headlights

Forklift Danceworks - PowerUp! - 2013

PowerUP inevitably echoed The Trash Project in many ways – the balletic grace of its machines, stretching and pirouetting; Reynolds' captivating brew of jazz and funk (here enhanced with the velvety luster of an orchestra under Peter Bay's direction and jolted by Todd Reynolds' electrifying violin); the dramatic lighting by Stephen Pruitt – but the most significant was this: the sense of service from its subjects. The dedication to and pride in their work shone from these Austin Energy staffers like a million-lumen lamp. It left you dazzled and inspired, thankful for them and for Orr, for providing them their turn in the spotlight. - Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle

Solo Symphony - Forklift Danceworks, 2012

Following an introduction by composer Graham Reynolds' atmospheric piano, which said very clearly, "Here comes something special – pay attention," the lights went up on a flipped orchestra: Bay faced the audience before the musicians, whose backs were to us. Between Bay's conducting and some candid, autobiographical audio clips, he moved and listened. Some of the choreographed gestures, performed in silence and to Reynolds' sound design, were memorable, especially as lit by Stephen Pruitt. - Jonelle Seitz, Austin Chronicle

peter bay conducting orchestra
woman singing in front of mountain lion video

The Rude Mechs - I've Never Been So Happy - 2011

A terrific ensemble keeps the plot anchored as Miwa Matreyek's video design (the best I've seen in Austin) combined with Stephen Pruitt's lighting transforms the set's freshly swept barn look into the desert sky at night, the variety show, and even illustrates the mountain lion's fury. The cast maintain a sense of sincerity and energetic fun, and Cami Alys in particular as Jason's commune-bound mom, Julie, wails through her songs with a fierce, rock n' roll snarl. - Georgia Young, The Austinist

Trouble Puppet Theater's The Jungle - 2011

As we follow the joys and agonies of newly immigrated Jurgis' journey through the (metaphorical and literal) abattoir, we're treated to choreographies of workers and puppets more diverse than the workshop version allowed, with props beyond that first iteration, with lighting (by Stephen Pruitt) doing things to Hopkins' efficient ebony set that, if that lighting were a lover doing similar things to you, you'd likely climax several times before exhaustion left you panting and useless.

- Wayne Alan Brenner, Austin Chronicle

 

the jungle - hauling the pig up for slaughter
Post Oedipus Photo

Post Oedipus - The Getalong Gang - 2010

Director Spencer Driggers is especially lucky to have designer Stephen Pruitt to provide the perfect stark, multilevel setting, dominated by a rebar tree whose branches extend seemingly everywhere. - Barry Pineo, Austin Chronicle

Stephen Pruitt’s starkly atmospheric set and lighting - all exposed metal bars, ripped gauzy cloth, plain wood platforms - completes the picture. - Cleve Weise, The Austinist

The Trash Project - Forklift Danceworks 2009 & 2011

But machine-as-extension-of-human was most apparent in a solo for a crane and its operator, Don Anderson. To Reynolds' sweeping, poignant strings (and Stephen Pruitt's quiet lighting), Anderson – I swear I'm not making this up – turned this hunk of metal and wires into something with qualities you might imagine shared by a prehistoric bird. - Jonelle Seitz, Austin Chronicle

Trash Project Trucks under stormy sky

- That lighting director Stephen Pruitt managed to engagingly illuminate such a vast outside area seemed nearly miraculous. That Pruitt did so to great dramatic effect even more so. - Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin-American Statesman





If you've seen enough and want to contact me, just click here: stephen at fluxiondesigns.com

To see more examples of my design work, find out more about me, or the many amazing artists I work with, just click on the appropriate link below.



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