COSHOCTON -- Theatrical lighting will be a new feature at the Coshocton Airport Amphitheater, beginning with the opening of the 2012 Season on June 30. Thanks to a gift of $20,000 from the G. Saba & Sons Memorial Trust, funding is 80 percent complete on the project. This trust annually gives funds to Coshocton organizations which it determines are offering worthwhile services to the community. Bethel Toler, president of the Coshocton Airport Amphitheater, accepted the check on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

"This is a very generous contribution, and we are grateful to the Saba Trust for recognizing the value of the Amphitheater for outdoor summer entertainment in Coshocton County. We hope to raise the remaining $5,000 through the annual fund appeal, which is underway," said Marion Sutton, fundraising chairman.

Andre Servais, an Amphitheater board member, took charge of developing a lighting scheme for the Amphitheater's 50-foot by 70-foot stage which was completed last spring. Working with lighting specialist Eric Johnson of 3rd Day Technology in South Vienna, he began by developing a list of essential equipment for this project.

The list includes two 22 foot trusses to be constructed and installed on either side of the stage to support all of the light needed to work "lighting magic." Lights are attached to the trusses, or to bars hung from the trusses. These lights are called PARs (parabolic aluminized reflector lights). PAR-64's will provide color and will be used to throw color washes over large areas. Two moving headlights, which can rotate 360 degrees, will create changing patterns and color, focus in and out, provide theatrical expression, and can be programmed for scene changes. A lighting dimmer and a light controller, the "brains" of the system, complete the list.

Servais was happy to take on the project. He has studied theatrical lighting at Muskingum University, where he received a BA in Business. And he literally "grew up" with The Living Word, the outdoor drama in Cambridge. Besides spending four years a technical director for that production, he also technically directed musicals and concerts for the same stage.

"With the new lighting capability, look for performances to start later in the evening this year, around 8 p.m.," Servais commented.

Moving performance times to 8 p.m. will be better for the performers, no more of the setting sun in their eyes, and provide entertainment for the audience in the way of light features before, during, and after the show.

For information, contact Marion Sutton at, 740-545-6381 (day) or 740-623-0768 (evening).

Visit the Coshocton Airport Amphitheater online at