Northwestern University

Wallis Theatre
Evanston, IL
May 30th, 2008

Design Team

  • Director: George Cederquist
  • Lighting Design: Lee Fiskness
  • Set Design: Sally Wiess
  • Costume Design: Marianna Csaszar

Design Statement

Research Images

Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus tells the fictionalized story of Antonio Salieri’s confession that he killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  The play begins with Salieri, a contemporary composer and court musician, inviting the ghosts of the future (the audience) into the cold dark world of his confession.  He flashes back to the eighteenth century to retell his struggle of being a musician during Mozart’s life, reliving and watching the action of his life once again. 

Marker Renderings

As the story unfolds the lighting follows the degradation of Salieri’s life, starting with warm and bright light during his successful years, and ending in dark heavily shadowed light during the last few desperate and bitter years of his life.  Throughout the play, Salieri cannot understand why God would give Mozart, a strange and vulgar man, such great talent instead of an upstanding man such as himself.  The struggle between Salieri and God is represented through the presence of and intensity of the light through a window hovering over the stage.  It is not until Salieri is able to reconcile his mediocrity that his struggle with God is over, allowing the window to fade into the darkness.