Southern Limelight: Lighting Designer for Theater, Mary Flott

Akaria Stewart

Mary Flott is a Senior theater major at Georgia Southern. Flott is being recognized for her lighting design work in the schools theater production of “Emelie” that has earned her an invitation to the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Washington D.C. 

Flott really enjoyed theater in high school and chose to continue along that path in college. It was in her sophomore year, however, that professor Kelly Barry pushed her to take a lighting design class that would set her on course to attend the national KCACTF’s this April.

“I’m glad he did because that’s what got me into it, and since then, I’ve been pushing to do as many lighting design projects as I can, and that’s why they asked me to do the design for ‘Emelie,’” said Flott. 

Since lighting is one of the the last elements implemented into the show, Flott does a lot of her work within last two weeks before technical operations start. For her, this means a lot of hanging and programming the lights in a specific way. Flott says she spent almost 17 hours a day working with the director in order to blend their visions for the show. 

Along with her personal recognition for lighting design, the production itself was also nominated. 

Flott admitted that being a production designer on the road proved to have some difficulties.  She said it was hard for her, as a young designer, to understand the process of taking a show from one space and putting it into a new space.

As she prepares to attend the national festival, Flott must prepare a presentation that will include production photos, research images, and all the paperwork that has been done concerning the set and present the information to adjudicators. She is very excited to have the opportunity to attend the festival and see what opportunities await her.

Flott said, “The thing I’m most excited about for nationals is all the master classes I get to attend and all the theater professionals I’ll get to network with, and I’m so excited to actually get my name out there and get my work presented in front of nationally acclaimed people, so it’s very exciting.”