A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM-Royal New Zealand Ballet
Kendall Smith's lighting design comes into its own with Lord's set, keeping the cabana's interiors dark when unused and lighting them subtly when dancers appear. His moon, in Act II, appears as a round flourescent ring, emerging from behind the mesh. With Lord employing a single set for the entire ballet, Smith's lighting gave the production a sense of variety and change throughout.
Jack Yan, Lucire
Designer Tracy Grant Lords does an amazing job, equaling her visual mastery of the story that was so successful in earlier RNZB works like Romeo and Juliet (2003) and The Wedding (2006). And yet it is a design that cannot be seperated from the stunning lighting of Kendall Smith. Together these two artisits have painted the stage with hues of inky black purple, blue, and green ~ casting twinkling light and glowing shapes over the twisted walkways and canopies of a midnight garden. The use of UV lighting gives the colours of some fabrics a saturated quality, while other textures catch the light differenly, glistening like scales, cobwebs, or stardust.
Sam Trubridge, Theatre Reveiw
From the opening moments when the superb lighting design by Kendall Smith seeps its way into Tracy Grant Lord's blissfully magical set we know we are in for something special. This is no ordinary forest she has created. With its ringed moon high upstage right it seems to hang from there, suspended and luminous against a starry sky, and despite its size, cleverly allowing plenty of stage space for the dancers. This is a world of fairies, not humans and the use of large pods and fibre-optic flowers or buds are just some of the surprises that delight in the world.
Jan Bolwell, Danz
THE WHIPPING MAN-Indiana Repertory Theatre
Erhard Rom's large, haunting set and Kendall Smith's wonderfully evolving lighting dramatically support Tim Ocel's moody, strangely real, stylized direction to make this production an unforgettable experience.
Herbert M. Simpson, TotalTheatre.com
Erhard Rom's set design, illustrating a once grand manor now in depressing ruin, recalled images of Tara, the beloved home of the O'Haras in the legendary film "Gone with the Wind."
Also contributing to the somber mood of the piece were Dorothy Marshall Englis' distressed period costumes and Kendall Smith's lighting design that effectively captured the dimly-lit, bleak sadness of an environment destroyed by war and misery.
Tom Alvarez, The Examiner
MADAMA BUTTERFLY-Lyric Opera of Kansas City
The scenic design creates a panoramic effect, with Japanese screen doors that can be reconfigured easily, an expansive floor of polished blonde wood and a dark moveable platform suggestive of mahogany. Behind it all is an enormous scrim which can be lit to suggest sunrise or a night sky.
Indeed, Kendall Smith's lighting makes an enormous contribution to the emotional range of this production, changing hue and intensity with infinitely subtle variations.
Robert Trussell-The Kansas City Star
Designer Kendall Smith integrated a broad palette of hues, from vibrant to subdued, to create atmosphere. For example, muted blues develop as Pinkerton calms Cio-Cio San, assuring her in “Bimba, Bimba, non piangere” that nothing and no one are worth her anguished tears. Here, the most limited of physical gestures and prop location can influence the story. Only against such a bare backdrop can a single falling flower petal be such a dramatic indication, signaling hope at one moment, desolation the next.
Sarah Tyrrell-KC Metropolis
AIDA-Virginia Opera Theatre
Lighting designer Kendall Smith makes use of three hieroglyphic colors: teal, gold and red. Notice how he distinguishes the Egyptians in gilded gold, representing their military victory and superiority, while he brushes the Ethiopians in teal, symbolizing their enslavement and torment. His model of colors infused with Rom's set design is miraculous.
BILLY BUDD-Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Here was one of those rare productions where every element came together in one perfectly coordinated, combined effort. At times the aura of menace and tension was almost palpable. The orchestra (the Kansas City Symphony) was all spit-'n'-polish, the chorus shook the deck in its big moments, the producer Tim Ocel alternated briskly active crowd scenes with the contemplative or intimate episodes, and Kendall Smith's lighting design ranged from the oppressive closeness of quarters below deck to the glaring brilliance of the battle scene. Erhard Rom's single set served for the entire opera, but movable pieces (a backdrop, sails and other paraphernalia, all aided by Smith's imaginative lighting) provided convincing changes of scene. For props, there were plenty of ropes, five enormous cannon and rigging.
Scenic Designer Bill Clarke provides a simple but elegant set of a few formal tables and chairs, tall mirrored doors, and a soft gold curtain that rises periodically to extend the stage for scenes at court. Lighting Designer Kendall Smith narrows the playing area for the most intense scenes by darkening everything to black except for a circle of action defined by hard white light. The focus of these scenes is consistent with a production defined by sympathetic intelligence.