Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tharon Musser

I just found out via this blip article on IMDB that famed lighting designer Tharon Musser has passed away. I didn't know her... but then I kind of feel like I did a little bit.

I went to the same college as Musser. Everyone who's gone to Berea College knows that it is far more than a college -- it's an experience, a way of life, a defining factor. Once on choir tour with the college, I by chance was housed with an elderly couple who not only were in college at the same time as she was -- they knew her. They told me bits of trivia, like that she had an illegal car that she kept offcampus (cars are very strictly policed at Berea, and in her day would be absolutely forbidden). But most of what I heard of her was from my best friend Sarah, also a lighting designer and graduate of Berea, who closely followed Musser's career and tried to follow her example.

Musser made a splash on Broadway with designs such as the iconic "A Chorus Line", and really introduced computerized lighting as we know it today. There's a pretty good short article about her here, and her Wikipedia entry here.

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