Itai Erdal lights the actors like Rembrandt van Rijn, all chiaroscuro, candle like glow fading into charcoal darkness.
Crime and Punishment, Neworld Theatre
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
February 3, 2005

Equally notable, however, is the design work in My Three Sisters. Lighting designer Itai Erdal does more with light and fog than most designers do with an entire set; indeed, his evocative and magical lighting will undoubtedly be one of the aspects of this production that lives on in the audience's memories.
My Three Sisters, Theatre Skam (Victoria)
John Threlfall, Monday Magazine
October 4, 2008 

Bruce Alcock's animation and Itai Erdal's lighting work together to create a constantly changing background against which this kinetic quartet of artists use their bodies as the human paint to create a series of memorable pictures.
The Four Horsemen Project, Volcano Productions (Toronto)
Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star
February 22, 2007

As always, Itai Erdal lights the short scenes with well chosen variations, always enhancing each scene with his subtle illumination.
It's A Wonderful Life, Carousel Theatre
Jane Penistan,

And what a world. Itai Erdal lights its wonders and dangers with fantastic starlight, cave light, firelight and sunlight, all glittering and changing and producing weird and wonderful shadows and illusions.
The Hobbit, Carousel Theatre
Jane Penistan,
April 13th, 2008

Itai Erdal's white set of an elegant stairway, panels, screens and curtains is wonderfully transformed by [Erdal] and Jamie Nesbitt's projections of art at key moments. Erdal is also responsible for the subtle lighting that enhances the spare Eastern aesthetic.
36 Views, Actor's Repertory Theatre (Toronto)
Paula Citron, Globe and Mail
April 24, 2007

Itai Erdal’s low cross-lighting creates some wonderful shadows and plays of light.
Desert Sunrise, Theatre for the New City (New York)

Lighting design takes its cue from Itai Erdal, lighting most of the show from the side and back to create the heightened atmosphere of the play. The shadows provide haunting glimpses into the characters complex faces. The appearance of the show is stunning.
A Christmas Carol, Vancouver Playhouse
Lori Henry
Dec. 6th, 2006 

Lighting designer Itai Erdal leads us unerringly and evocatively from place to place in
Yvan Morissette's shoji-screened set.
After the Quake, Pi Theatre and Rumble Productions
Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier
November 25th, 2009

The always stunning lighting design of Itai Erdal captures and capitalizes on the characters' emotions
Ash Girl, Studio 58
Marta Baranowska, Plank Magazine
October 8th, 2008

Lighting designer Itai Erdal and projection designer Jamie Nesbitt create a wonderfully adaptable dreamscape on which the tale can play out.
Where the Blood Mixes, Vancouver Playhouse
John Coulbourn, Toronto Sun
April 13th, 2010

Lighting Designer Itai Erdal provides the final element to create a magnificent picture.
Billy Bishop Goes to War, Persephone Theatre
Mark Robbins, Gay
April 1st, 2010

Itai Erdal's lighting design transforms the set into an expression of visual poetry.
After the Quake, Rumble Productions & Pi Theatre
Rachel Scott, Plank Magazine
November 25th, 2009

Lighting Designer Itai Erdal brings a lightness to act one that fits nicely with the television vibe and ends with a wonderfully powerful design to the crucifixion scene
Godspell, Pacific Theatre
Mark Robbins, Gay
May 29th, 2010

Szijarto's set… and Erdal's magnificent lighting make this an unforgettable evening.       
10 Things you'll hate about me     
Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier
May 7th, 2010

In a lighting plot that contains its own witty suprises, Itai Erdal often illuminates the action from down low, casting the weird shadows you see in some of Degas' paintings of gas lit ballerinas.
Comedy of Errors, Studio 58
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
January 31st, 2011

In many ways, the design, especially Itai Erdal’s lighting, is the star of this telling… Director Tait and movement coach Savannah Walling create living art with the actors... Erdal’s lighting brings this all together. Often, the warmly lit skin tones and beautiful fabrics, with darkness surrounding them, evoke the paintings of Rembrandt. At other times, bodies, moulded by light, acquire the exquisite weight of sculptures.
The Idiot, Neworld Theatre
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
January 23rd, 2012

Technically the show is a marvel at times.  Lighting designer Itai Erdal once again proves he is a master with his pinpoint lights that flash on and off as the chess pieces (members of the cast and chorus) move across its plain white background. 
Beautiful Problems, Radix
May 14th, 2011

How To Disappear Completely redefines what an actor is and what theatre is; it is simply Itai Erdal telling the story of a part of his and his mother's life. You do not need to be a trained actor to be a compelling storyteller, you do not have to know movement, technique, or be able to sing or dance. You can be yourself, talk about yourself, and tell a story that’s close and important to you. Sounds easy right? We all know not everybody can do that successfully. But lighting designer Itai Erdal can and does. Here is an artist who is not an actor and who tells a very personal story the core of which focuses on his mother’s struggle with cancer, and how he was there with her until the end. It sounds like the gist of many cancer patient stories but trust me, it is not.
...As we get to know him we fall in love with him, and his mother as well. She is such an intelligent woman whose enigmatic personality is clear from the footage we see and from the anecdotes Itai tells. Itai shares with us his mother’s words of wisdom that money is only a means to a good life and a prolonged death. Perhaps his filming of every last moment was his way of prolonging her death, and preserving as much of her as he possibly could.
The piece is funny, touching, honest, intimate, and most of all, brave. Erdal truly opened up to a dark room full of strangers. How can one not admire that?
How to Disappear Completely, Chop Theatre
Beat Rice, The Charlesbois Post

Try to imagine a completely selfless act of egotism. It may sound like a contradiction in terms, but in the hands of a gifted storyteller it becomes a funny, poignant and vastly entertaining seventy-five minute journey through some of life’s most difficult, joyous, and memorable moments. Itai Erdal’s one-man show, How To Disappear Completely, is a brilliantly lit, beautifully written, and seamlessly performed monologue of scoreless operatic proportions that defy gravity as hilarious flights of fancy, alongside interactive segments filled with bravado and delightful self-assurance, pay homage to a life lived to the fullest.
Erdal’s connection to classic lighting design, bringing a variety of evocative shadows to any given drama, coupled with his desire to make documentary films, seep into the narrative and give the overall mise en scene a complex metaphoric quality that is at once haunting, wry, and utterly engaging.
Beginning with the admission that he is not an actor Erdal proceeds to prove that brilliant storytelling and high caliber acting are one in the same thing as he nonchalantly interacts with film footage of his mother, sister, and best friend during especially trying times. The sheer magnetism and charisma of all the characters on film, and Erdal’s own stage presence, turn this virtuoso solo performance into a gorgeous ensemble of memory, experience, and profound loyalty.
As part of Factory Theatre’s Annual Festival of Groundbreaking New Work, How to Disappear Completely is a perfect gem-like theatrical hybrid that summons and dismisses both light and darkness, literally and figuratively, with the flick of a switch. See for yourself - there will be shadows, follow spots, and heartwarming humility in the face of sheer confidence and skill as they interact with incredibly deep-seated familial bonds.
How to Disappear Completely, Chop Theatre
David Bateman, Bateman Reviews
May 8th, 2012

Contrary to what you might expect the play is not morbid at all.  It is often full of humour.  Paradoxically, by focussing so intently on his mother’s inescapable decline as she succumbs to the disease, Erdal in fact memorializes her vitality.  He also presents us with a truth we all must face.
...Erdal's discussion of lighting and its effects is fascinating in itself and theatre-goers who have never paid much attention to the artistry behind lighting design will gain a new appreciation of it from this show. The point of Erdal’s demonstrations shows his mastery of his craft. His videos of his dying mother show his attempt to create a sense of control over something – dying – that is totally beyond his control. Erdal thus uses several means to distance himself and us from his subject – the formality of his interviews, his simultaneous translation of what is said from Hebrew into English and the self-consciousness he fosters about his performance as performance on stage. His stage presentation of the film excerpts parallels what he is doing within the film itself – using a rational framework to capture a subject fraught with emotion. Because of those frameworks the play become a personal tribute to his mother’s own calm and rationality in the face of death and sobering memento mori for the entire audience.
Erdal’s mother, a professor of Latin American literature told him that all literature has only two subjects – love and death.  Erdal’s play links both. Ultimately, his play does not show us How to Disappear Completely. Through the art of her son Mery Erdal lives on in the minds of all who see the show.
How to Disappear Completely, Chop Theatre
Christopher Hoile,
May 9th, 2012




Recent Interview on CBC Radio

Beautiful Problems Final Production Video