Every fourth Monday of the month, The Secret Show invites emerging and esteemed local artists to take over the Painted Bride stage and produce the hour-long artistic experience of their dreams. The catch? The public can’t know any details until the stage lights come on. But just who is flipping the switch, anyway? Meet Will Jonez.
As the Secret Show’s Technical Emerging Artist, Will Jonez is tasked with designing light schemes that give each show a look and mood of its own. From the Tuesday Boys’ ethereal realm of midlevel cyberspace, to Doug Greene’s somber yet satisfying DIY funeral, Will’s lighting work brings magic to the world of the Secret Show.
“I was actually an actor in high school,” says the Little Rock, Arkansas native. “But after taking a stagecraft class, I realized I was able to tell a story better through lighting.” On a college tour, Jonez fell in love with Philly and later went on to study Design/Tech with an emphasis in Lighting at Temple University. “Philly is great because it’s a big city that doesn’t feel big,” says Jonez. “We have a huge theater community, but it’s so tight knit. Everyone is really supportive of one another.”
The Secret Show isn’t the only place you’ll see Will’s bright ideas light the stage. He works regularly with Found Theater (home-base for Phoebe Schaub, half of The Secret Shows Art Doula duo), as well as The Hum’n’bards Theater Troupe and Van.Martin Productions.
For Will, the Secret Show series presents an unique and interesting challenge. “No two performances are alike. Each artist has their own process and ideas, so it’s exciting to attend rehearsals and workshops to see how I can bring my aesthetic to their unique vision. Plus, the shows are only a month apart, so the limited time has really become a lesson in efficiency for me.”
Witness Will’s lighting genius at work during The Secret Show this April, hosted by director/creators Nell Bang-Jensen and Tommy Butler. With lighting by Will Jonez, of course. The pair will explore ceremony, tradition, nostalgia, and performance, seeking an answer to a question so many of us want to know: Why tie the knot? Get tickets here.
Curious to see what else Will is up to? Visit him online at WillJonez.com.