The Off-Broadway musical "ROOMS" is about a love affair between two young punk rockers. Ian is an alcoholic introvert who doesn't want to leave the comfort of his room in Glasgow. Monica the extrovert wants to see every room in the world. The two travel through 37 locales and 18 songs in just under 90 minutes. Having a toolbox of gobos to create texture and locale really helps!

Much of the lighting was created using Martin Mac 700's which have no shutters. I added a Glass Square, as well as a square outline to the gobo load. Doing this allowed me to give the appearance of shutters in these lights. I needed that because the director, Scott Schwartz, and I decided early on that squares would represent rooms and isolation. Here, for example, we use the squares to "shutter" just to the performers. The cuts on the floor overlap and bring their "rooms" together.

Gobos Used:

iPro Slide:

Roscolux Colors Used:


Related Roscolux Colors:


In this moment Ian is left alone drinking. He is isolated in the overlapping squares in two different color temperatures. Later on, he has returned to Glasgow and the safety of his room. Also in this later scene the floor is textured with GlassBrick (77563) which we color with R79 and R69 to create the cobbles and leaf strewn streets of Glasgow. We do this early on in the show so when Ian comes home the locale is instantly recognizable. Throughout the show we "paint" the floor with texture whether its Glasgow in Glass Brick or London in Cobblestones.

The big punk number that launches their career is called "All I Want is Everything" and it is performed in London. The entire design team added to this number and Union Jack Flags were the theme. We ended up with five Union Jack Gobos in five VL1000 fixtures. This allowed me to zoom and focus chase the flags as well as rotate them for the song.

Incidentally, since this was a limited-budget Off Broadway production, it would have been very difficult to buy these effects as custom multicolored glass gobos. But it turns out that if you choose artwork from the Rosco i-Pro library you can have any of the images made into a glass gobo without paying the artwork setup fee. And that's what I did.


A common element of the punk movement was disrespect for the political establishment. Frequently flags were ripped or torn and discolored. Having the ability to color shift behind the gobos helped me push this envelope within the song. We were able to echo this upstage with the scenic flags and bring the whole design element together. The square outlines reappear in this song too and in the haze and fog they make a really unique effect.


Of course the old standby of the tunnel/cone/circle outline always helps to backlight and outline a singer and we use it here to good effect (circle outline 81115).

One of the last scenes in the show involves Monica walking home in the rain. We achieved this quiet and precious moment with very soft cobblestones 77787 and the animation wheel rotating very, very slowly behind it.

Since 1991 Herrick Goldman has been designing lighting for theater, dance, concerts, museums, corporate meetings, and themed attractions. His work has been seen in New York, Shanghai, Manila, Frankfurt, Australia, and Canada. Herrick's Off-Broadway credits include ROOMS, Godspell, Latin Heat, Flamingo Court, All is Love, Shafrika, Serenade, The Fearless, & Streakin' thru the 70's. Other New York productions include Crash Test Dummies at the New Victory, The Last Starfighter (musical), Meet John Doe, & the Antigravity Tour at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Ages ago, Herrick was the lighting design instructor for the MIT Theater Arts Department. He owns HG Lighting Design inc. which is the principal design team for Antigravity, Madame Tussauds NYC, Sudden Impact Entertainment, and others. HGLD was recently awarded a 2009 Big Apple Award for best lighting design for a corporate event. Clients include: Ebay, Xerox, UPS, Johnson Controls, The Director's Guild Awards, Louis Vuitton, Rolex and more. Most recently his work was seen in Tick Tick Boom at the Westport Country Playhouse & The Rock Tenor at the Wilma Theatre. Broadway benefits include the 15th anniversary reunion of The Who's TOMMY & Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, both at the August Wilson. Herrick is a member of USA/IATSE 829, his work may be seen at

Herrick Goldman
Lighting Designer, NYC