Lights, Sound, and Action
by Cassie Langford
Believing lighting and sound should enhance what is happening on stage, not distract from it, Brian Gamel hopes that what he does as a light and sound designer is for the sake of creating an immersive experience for the audience, not for the sake of highlighting his skills.
Sometimes, his style is simple. For a recent production of Puffs at Elm Street Arts Theatre, he mocked the floating candlesticks that light the Great Hall in a Certain School of Magic & Magic by placing brown paper sacks – the kind lunch ladies pack for school field trips – over drop lighting. Other times, his style is more dramatic. For more emotionally riveting scenes, like the ones in Of Mice and Men, he says he wants beams of light to reflect off an actor’s face in such a way that it embodies the emotion and intensity the actor is seeking to portray.
Gamel began his theater career in 2004 when he starred as ‘Jack’ in Towne Lake Arts Center’s Jack and the Beanstalk, which led to his involvement in numerous other school and community performances, his favorites being musicals. After high school, he decided to pull away from musical theatre and pursue a bachelor’s degree in theater with a focus in production management from Florida State University. After graduating, Gamel accepted the position as production manager for Elm Street Arts Village, formerly Towne Lake Arts Center.
Gamel helps Elm Street fulfill their mission to “engage the community with relevant art experiences every day” by coordinating theater productions, scheduling world-class performers for the Lantern Series, and casting vision for the future development of an art complex, which will offer classes in visual arts, cooking, and pottery.
Beyond the time he commits to managing productions, Gamel volunteers to direct and design stage productions. He also occasionally auditions for parts because he wants to experience the production from the perspective of the cast and crew, who are all unpaid volunteers. Gamel seeks to ensure that Elm Street is creating an atmosphere where people want to be – an atmosphere where “ordinary people” are inspired to create “extraordinary art.”
Gamel’s work with Elm Street has received recognition from the Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards. He and Cassidy Hill won a Board Award for Lighting Design for Spamalot in 2018, and he received five nominations for the 2019 season: Sound Design for Bright Star, Minor Supporting Actor for his role as ‘Daryl’ in Bright Star, and Lighting, Sound, and Set Design for Of Mice and Men.
Because a community should have a way to celebrate Christmas past, present, and future together, Elm Street Arts Village invites you to enjoy its annual production of A Christmas Carol, which will run from December 13-24.
If you are interested in learning more about upcoming productions, classes, and concerts, visit ElmStreetArts.org.