The STAGE LIGHTING Guide

A guide to stage lighting

Whatever the scale of a production - amateur or professional - lighting like other design processes is based on a sequence of logical decisions plus a good measure of creative inspiration.

This brief guide offers a sequence of step-by-step decisions to form the basis of a lighting process for the smaller scale production. It has been prepared by a lighting designer with experience of working on productions of all types and sizes. I hope that it will be especially helpful to amateur groups, small touring companies and educational theatre.


AIMS OF LIGHTING
What do we hope to achieve?
TYPES OF LIGHT
Floods
Focus Spots - Fresnel and Prism Convex
Profile Spots
Beamlights and PAR Cans
Follow Spots
CHOOSING LIGHTING POSITIONS
Lighting from the front
Lighting from the back and side
Finding a compromise
DIVIDING THE STAGE
Dividing by area
Area planning for a play
Area planning for a musical
Dividing by colour
Colour planning for a play
Colour planning for a musical
THE DECISION PROCESS
Example plan for a play
Example plan for "In the round"
Example plan for a musical
DECIDING WHICH LIGHTS TO USE
THE RIG PLAN
LISTS
FOCUSING
Focusing in comfort
What can we adjust?
GLOSSARY
OTHER SITES OF INTEREST

Revised and updated - August 2020