Meet the Creatives : Benjamin Brockman

June 7, 2019

We caught up with Benjamin Brockman, lighting designer on our upcoming production on GIRL IN THE MACHINE.


Can you give us insight in your creative process in designing lighting for Girl in the Machine?


I believe a lot of lighting design starts initially comes from environment and spacial thinking. The design of the space normally gives a lot of clues in terms of a lighting designers approach. What would this environment look like under light, how does light get in to this room? Are there windows? Are there practical lighting fixtures that make sense in this world such as light bulbs, or in this case down lights? Once I understand those elements I can then start to look at Dramaturgy of how can i manipulate these elements to create emotional tension and relief. How can I represent time and location, and then finally how can I tell a story with light. There is also the practical application of light that also needs to be considered. Can the audience see the performers, is there anything we need to hide through lighting something in a particular way. How can I create focus and draw attention to the action? For the Girl in The Machine lighting is very much integrated in to the set design. The play is going to be set in a contained box and we will be using a lot of practical down lights recessed in to a roof piece along with a few other bits and pieces we want the light to solely come from the environment and try not to use any lighting fixtures outside of that or if we do it would be just to support the practical lighting.


What has been your career trajectory?


I graduated from NIDA in 2011 and started Lighting Designing around 2013 after Stage Managing for a few years. I received a Scholarship to go to London where I worked for there Royal Court Theatre Company. I have definitely lit a lot of shows over the years from the large to the Small. I have been Nominated for APDG best emerging Designer a few years back and won the Best independent Lighting designer at the Sydney Theatre awards for 2018 for my work on Metamorphoses. I also mentor students at NIDA who are going through their piratical assessments of Lighting design and Head Electrician work on their show season. I Have been extremely lucky in the opportunities that I have been given and the people that I have worked with. I know that there is a lot more to come and I look forward to things getting bigger and fostering my creative relationships with the amazing people i have meet over the years.


What has been a career highlight for you?


I have really enjoyed a lot of things. I have meet and made many friends over the years which has been the best thing about this job. it doesn’t feel like a job because it is my passion. I am lucky to be a working artist in theatre in Sydney. 

But the biggest career highlight has been going back to NIDA and educating and mentoring current students. I love what I do so it is a gift to be able to share that with people who are interested in my body of work. 


What are you working on after GITM?


If I  was to list everything then your head might spin and you go how do I do so much, but highlights are as followed. Splinter directed by Lee Lewis at Griffin Theatre Company, a development with one of my favourite

companies Legs on the Wall with Joshua Tompson. Another show with Claudia called The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Old Fitz, and Omar and Dawn at KXT Directed by Dino Dimitriadis. 


Ben’s Lighting Design credits include; for Griffin Theatre Company: Replay, Diving For Pearls, 2016 Season Launch, 2018 Season Launch; For Ensemble Theatre: Tribes, The Big Dry, The Plant, Neville’s Island, Baby Doll; for Darlinghurst Theatre Company: Broken, Detroit, Mother Fucker With a Hat, Tinder Box; For Sport For Jove: Away, Macbeth; for Mad March Hare: Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo, Belleville, Dark Vanilla Jungle, Shivered; For Bakehouse Theatre Company: Dresden, Visiting Hours, The Laden Table, Jatinga, Straight; for Bontom Chamber pot Opera (Sydney Adelaide Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe Festival); For Apocalypse Theatre Company: Metamorphoses; for New Theatre; The Cherry Orchard, When the Rain Stops Falling, That Eye the Sky; for Spark Youth Theatre; Political Children; for Performance 4a; Through a Distant Lens; For Unhappen: Mr. Kolpert, Awkward Conversations with Animals I have Fucked, Cough, Animal/People.


20 – 29 JUNE