What do we hope to achieve ?
When we consider the craft of stage lighting our first priority should be that of ILLUMINATION. The audience have come to see the production, and it is the role of lighting to ensure that primarily that the actors are clearly illuminated, especially their faces, and secondly that the stage set is illuminated in a manner to allow the action to be seen.
But, can this illumination be SELECTIVE, can we position the lights, and control them using dimmers to guide the audiences attention to a particular character, highlighting one part of the stage, while decreasing the intensity to another.
Can we use the lighting to add ATMOSPHERE to the production, this could be representing the time of day with beams of sunlight, or the cool glow of the moon. Using dappled light to represent light through the leaves of trees, or even a simple warm glow representing the light from a fire.
Can we use the lights to ENHANCE the production. Can we use colours or textures from a GOBOs to highlight the actors and the scenery.
The aim of lighting is to follow the performance in a fluid manner, adjusting the lighting to follow the flow of the performance, mostly with subtle subconscious shifts of emphasis, but when required providing sudden and dramatic contrasts.