The Basics Design of Theatrical Lighting

Jul 7th

Theatrical lighting design basics are a subtle aspect, very important to design and implement a successful production. When done well, the audience soon realizes that there are lights. But when it is badly done, lighting becomes an annoying distraction disruptive and leaves the audience wondering what the operator was doing lights before the show. It takes years to master the professional theatrical lighting, but there are some basics you could familiarize yourself with before you attempt to design your first show

Read the script

Before hanging lights or draw ideas for the director, you need to familiarize yourself with the script. You can make notes of your ideas directly into the script, and you should also highlight any specific indication to give you the playwright. Cut each scene with the kind of lighting you need, outdoor, evening, morning or incredibly dark. This gives you a starting point for the lighting design basics process and lets you know how much work waits.

The grill

The grill is what determines where to hang the lights in the theater. First you need a list of all the equipment available. Once you have it , you need a scale plan of the stage with all the rows of lights available , either provided by you or drama drawn from your account. You cannot start sketching the lights setup until you know what you have and where it will be hung. Take notes on the depth and width of the stage, and the distance between the watchtower and the stage. Also want to know the distance from the stage (the area between the edge of the stage and the curtain) to each of the rows of lights.

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Separate them

The easiest way to start designing lights, once you have a grill, is separating the stage areas. Most of these can be serparado six individual zones with three front and rear three. The action takes place during the show happen in one or more of these areas and can work with the director to ensure that the distribution of the actors keep them in the right place at the right time. You’ll want a minimum of two lights by area of action to maximize the flexibility of your design, but have more lights will give you more options when the time comes to start programming.


Your lights have two functions. The first and most important is to make the action on stage is visible. The second is to contribute to the atmosphere of the scene. Each scene lighting design must depend first of visibility and secondly the weather. If your audience can not distinguish the events that happen on stage clearly does not really matter whether or not the lights are contributing to climate. Get through each scene with the actors or assistants and make sure the audience can always see the action on stage. It is important that you always pay attention in lighting design basics for your theatrical stage lighting design.

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