Student sheds light on One Act Play


Izzy Valenzuela

Gifford uses light to give his art a unique ascetic from the audience.

Jordan Toomey, Staff Reporter

There are many different types of art and self-expression but senior Maxwell Gifford’s latest piece, made specifically for the One Act Play, focuses on lighting.
“I enjoy combining my two passions in my artwork: technology and sculpture,” Gifford said. “Lights can really highlight or enhance the forms I create. The theatre department recently commissioned me to create a programmable LED lighting system that they could use during their One Act Play. However, I designed it so that it can also be repurposed in a variety of ways for future productions.”
Gifford’s creation was the first of its kind in the theatre department.
“[The lighting system] was exciting and interesting in a lot of ways,” tech theatre teacher John Davenport said. “But at the same time it was terrifying because it’s something that I’ve never had to work with, so I’d be nervous to see what would come out of it, and then whenever he would bring me stuff it would be really exciting to kind of look at and watch.”
Teachers have a fascinating insight in Gifford’s creative style.
“Maxwell is brilliant, and he draws from a lot of different areas,” art teacher Jeff Siedel said. “He ties in his engineering and he just has a wide range of knowledge, kind of a renaissance man, but then he’s not real focused either, he’s kind of a scatterbrained genius and so its really hard to get him to finish things. Everything he does is mathematically based, even when its not supposed to be, he has a really hard time getting rid of the mathematician in him.”
The lighting system was a personal triumph as well as helpful for the play.
“I was really proud of when he was doing that set thing, they were on a deadline and he met the deadline and created something that far surpassed their expectations,” Siedel said. “And so I was just really proud of him because in a job situation, thats what you’re gonna need, and I think in school a lot of times kids don’t take school as seriously as they would a paying job, and so I was really proud of him for pushing through and meeting their deadline.”
The Waving Goodbye company was very happy with the product Gifford created.
“It was kind of thrilling,” Davenport said. “It makes our show a lot more visually appealing and interesting.”