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Best Lighting Design 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Kansas City Repertory Theatre

click to enlarge BOKC05.jpg

kcrep.org

This KC Rep staging of the Mark Twain staple benefited from swiftly shifting scenes on a fluid, minimal set, which took as its central focus that famous, due-for-a-whitewash fence. Here, the massive set piece worked both to separate action and to symbolically divide the worlds of children and adults. We wondered, though: How would that dominating piece of scenery get its notorious painting? Robert Wierzel had the answer. His mood-setting, attention-directing lights were inventively incorporated in a big video display. Before our eyes, the slats changed color as Tom's friends did the dirty work — or appeared to — in a virtual picket-fence makeover. It was an inventive technological flourish that added to the show's sense of wonderment — and impressed us nontechies.

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