Jennifer Tipton at the light board for a show of her own making:

When computer controls came in, for example, she was surprised by how much she liked them.

“You can program cues with a liquid movement you could never have with human beings pushing levers and knobs,” she said. “Before the computer, I can’t remember a cue that lasted more than 30 seconds, but now you can have something happening across the full hour of a program. I thought I would miss the ability to call cues in the way I was taught — vocally, you can speed it up and slow it down — but I was thrilled that it happened the same way every time.”

New equipment can alter color and orientation automatically — so if she wants to change something, “you don’t have to stop the rehearsal and have a guy get the ladder out and change it,” she said. But many of the new high-tech colors aren’t to her liking — “they aren’t full spectrum, like the sun” — and the fact that the manufacturers keep changing them makes it difficult to maintain the consistency of her designs for older works still in repertory.