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S TAGE L IGHTING Drama I. M AIN P URPOSES OF S TAGE L IGHTING To illuminate the actor(s) & the set(s) To establish MOOD & setting To draw focus.

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Presentation on theme: "S TAGE L IGHTING Drama I. M AIN P URPOSES OF S TAGE L IGHTING To illuminate the actor(s) & the set(s) To establish MOOD & setting To draw focus."— Presentation transcript:


2 M AIN P URPOSES OF S TAGE L IGHTING To illuminate the actor(s) & the set(s) To establish MOOD & setting To draw focus

3 T HE H ISTORY OF S TAGE L IGHTING Greek: Open-air, usually on a hillside The afternoon sun was behind the audience area The afternoon sun illuminated the stage Roman: Much like the Greek theatres, but audience area was covered with a colored awning which softened the sun’s glare


5 HTTP :// WWW. FLICKR. COM / PHOTOS / GAUISCAECILIUS / / Roman Theatr e at Jerash

6 Italy, circa 1500s: Patronage system brought private performances, pageants, tableaux and indoor theatre. Serlio – (Italian architect) suggested using candles & torches set behind glass bottles filled with amber and blue colored liquid Palladio’s theatre used common sources of light: torches, open wicks, pine knots, tallow candles

7 HTTP :// WWW. ARTSALIVE. CA / EN / THF / HISTOIRE / CONCEPTEURS. HT ML Serlio’s designs used light to create depth.

8 England: circa late 1500s-1600s Shakespeare’s Old Globe Theatre was open-air, so natural light was used (candles & torches also, when necessary). Blackfriar’s Theatre – winter home of Shakespeare’s theatre company. Indoor theatres like this used candles and torches to light the stage and the audience area.

9 HTTP :// CHICTRIB. IMAGE 2. TRB. COM / CHINEWS / MEDIA / PHOTO / / JPG The Old Globe Theatre Rebuilt according to the original plans and in operation today!

10 HTTP :// WWW. FLICKR. COM / PHOTOS / POORPLAYER / / Blackfriars Theatre

11 Inigo Jones (English designer & architect) Used reflectors to increase light sources Oil lamps & candles on front edge of stage, out of sight of audience Tallow candles and lamps vertically mounted behind wings on the sides of the stage Used candles on hoops & chandeliers up on pulleys Gold decorations in theatre reflected the light

12 AHHHH!!! P OOF ! O R, THE DOWNSIDES OF CANDLES Candles were Expensive Hard to maintain Trimming the wicks during the show Blackouts – snuff out the candles quickly “Snuff boys” Dangerous & unpredictable

13 David Garrick Drury Theatre, 1765 (London) Footlights – candles masked with metal screens along the front edge of the stage Richard Sheridan Drury Theatre, 1784 All stage lights now out of sight of audience Hid lights behind wings and borders William Murdock Scottish engineer Gas lighting from coal – would replace candles

14 Fredrick Winson German Lyceum Theatre, 1803 (London) 1st successful use of gas lighting on stage All the equipment – valves and switches, are controlled in one central location, the “gas table”. This is the forerunner of the modern switchboard. “in the limelight” means to be famous, or the center of attention. It originates in this era, when the mineral lime was burned to create light for the stage.

15 HTTP :// THEATER - TICKET. CONCIERGEDESK. CO. UK / LONDON _ THEATRE _ INFO / LYCEUM _ THEAT RE. HTML Lyceum Theatre, London (The original was destroyed by fire in hmmmm)

16 S PEAKING OF GAS ….. Brighter than oil lamps & candles Better control: valves at a central point Smooth increases & decreases of light Variable speed of transitions 1 st time: auditorium lights can be darkened Heat Smell/vapors Fire hazard Hel-lo, open flame!! As a result, laws were created to establish guards, screens, glass chimneys AdvantagesDisadvantages

17 M ODERN S TAGE L IGHTING B EGINS ! Thomas Edison 1879, invents the first practical electric lamp Bye bye gas! Light is produced by heating a filament Within one year, the Paris Opera is using the new electrical lighting system.

18 HTTP :// WWW. SCIENCEPROGRESS. ORG /2009/02/ INNOVATION - NATIONAL - PROSPERITY / Thomas Edison’s Electric Bulb The filament is the wire inside the center of the glass bulb.

19 HTTP :// WWW. MARCELPROUST. IT / LUOGHI / PARIGI / OPERA. HTM The Paris Opera House Grand Entry Hey look, electric lights!

20 HTTP :// RDS. YAHOO. COM /_ YLT =A0S020 QOLFX L4 Z MA JXMJZBK F/SIG=14 P 3 SVA 4 B /EXP= /** HTTP %3 A // WWW. TOPFOTO. CO. UK / FOTOWEB /G RID. FWX %3 FPOSITION =1%26 ARCHIVE I D =5074%26 COLUMNS =4%26 ROWS =2%26 SORTING =M ODIFIED T IME A SC %26 SEARCH = OPERA Paris Opera House - Interior (Note the chandelier and electric lights.)


22 T HE S CRIPT What is the feeling of the play? What colors do you see? What music do you hear? What emotions do you feel? What are the rhythms and beats of the script? Ask about the budget. Stay within the budget Work with the director and other designers

23 L IGHT D ESIGN In order to accomplish the 3 goals of lighting, we manipulate a variety of factors. BRIGHTNESS COLOR CHANGE RATE DIRECTION

24 B RIGHTNESS Controlling the brightness focuses the audience’s attention. Darkness = secret action; action that is not meant to draw focus. Brightness = important action Different lamps will put out varying amounts of light….

25 B RIGHTNESS Types of lamps Fresnel Ellipsoidal/Leko Par Can Border, or Strip, light Follow Spot Scoop LED Lighting Barn doors, shutters – hinged metal flaps that narrow the light beam Dimmers – control the amount of power

26 F RESNELS “A Fresnel spot is a can with a lamp, a reflector, and a lens. The lamp and reflector move back and forth on a "sled." The reflector is a "bowl" cut from a sphere, and the lens is a "plano convex" lens that has been specially shaped to save weight and reduce heat. Because of the shape of the reflector and lens, the light from a Fresnel is always soft edged. Fresnels will have some knob or crank or lever that moves the sled. Moving it will make the blob of light bigger or smaller.”

27 HTTP :// LIBRARY. THINKQUEST. ORG /21722/LIGHTING. HT ML Fresnel Used for general color washes Soft-edged beam Come in 3 sizes Short-range light

28 HTTP :// WWW. THEATRE. UBC. CA / DESIGN / CRSLIB 2/ LTG / LTG 1. HTM Fresnel Cut- away

29 P AR C AN “Parabolic reflector cans (most commonly called PAR cans, or simply cans ) are non- focusable instruments. PAR cans consist mainly of a metal cylinder with a sealed- beam parabolic reflector lamp at one end. These lamps are very similar to those used in many automobiles as headlights. The instrument throws an unfocused beam, the shape of which depends on what type of lamp is in the instrument… Theatrical applications of cans typically include washes and effects lighting. Color frames can be used with most cans by using the clips present on the front of the instrument.”

30 Par Cans Unfocused beam Like a headlight Add color frames to the front Washes & effects Easiest to work with

31 E LLIPSOIDALS /L EKOS “Ellipsoidal reflector spotlights (often called ERSs, or Lekos,…) are among the most complex non-automated lights found in a theatrical lighting setup. Ellipsoidals consist of an incandescent lamp, an elliptical reflector, and one or two plano-convex lenses. There are many types of ellipsoidal instruments, but they all share the common trait of producing a sharp beam that can be focused and shaped. Most employ four shutters that allow the spill of light to be controlled. Ellipsoidals typically have provisions for color frames and gobo projection. Typical uses of ellipsoidals are: acting area lighting, specials, back or side lighting, and pattern projection ….”

32 Ellipsoidals/ Lekos Sharp beam Longer range Can be focused & shaped – hard or soft edge Use with GOBOS Use for: acting area lighting, specials, side- lighting, back- lighting Most versatile & popular stage light

33 HTTP :// WWW. THEATRE. UBC. CA / DESIGN / CRSLIB 2/ LTG / LTG 1. HTM Ellipsoid al Cut- away

34 GOBOS Patterns cut out of metal plates Fit into the pattern holder slot of the Leko (aka ellipsoidal) Project onto the stage floor, set, cyc, etc.

35 HTTP :// WWW. LE - US. COM / BORDERLIGHTS. HTML Border/ Strip Lights General washes of color Mount behind wings/borders Can’t be focused Permanent alternating colored glass lenses (often)

36 Follow Spots Specials Long-range light Manually operated from the catwalk or the back of the house Gives the actor mobility

37 Scoops General wash of light Cannot be focused Can be fitted with colored gels Great for lighting a large space with only a few lights

38 LED L IGHTING Light Emitting Diode Used extensively in concert lighting Par cans and strip lighting can utilize LED sources, but it can be used to replace any conventional lighting fixture except ellipsoidals LED is used a lot with “moving head” lighting systems Often used to light the cyc, & for side and back lighting Combines red, blue, and green light to create different light colors Advantage: low heat output Disadvantages: can’t create a hard-edged beam; costly

39 HTTP :// WWW. MODERNSTAGESERVICE. IN / GALLERY. PHP ? CI D =19 LED Lighting YouTube - Nine Inch Nails - The Making Of

40 L IGHTING S AFETY stagelighting/activities/03401safety.htm

41 C OLOR Establishes setting/time & mood Creates texture Cool colors: blue, green Warm colors: red/amber, yellow McCandless Method Stanley McCandless - architect, later a theatre lighting designer One light from the top left, one on the top right, both at 45 ° angles, at least 90° apart combine a cool gel on one light & a warm gel on the other to create a neutral light Lights the actor, and also “sculpts” their features The most basic and common way to light the stage

42 B ASIC C OLOR T IPS Test the color by holding it in front of a light source against the fabric or skin. “Use less saturated colors for actor's faces. Each skin tone is unique and may respond differently to a particular color. What looks terrific on one person will not necessarily serve every other performer in the piece. Be prepared to make adjustments. More saturated tones can be used to sidelight and backlight actors. Save the strongest colors for lighting the scenery.” ght.html

43 HTTP :// WWW. TERRALEC. CO. UK / STAGE _ LIGHTING /112_0 C. HTML Gels Colored films that are placed in holders in the front of the lamp Used to be made of gelatin; hence the name “gels”. Swatch books of colors available from each company

44 D IRECTION /A NGLES Front lighting – often made using a follow spot; flattens features/set Top lighting – light, especially directly above, will exaggerate shadows & can age the actor Back lighting – highlights shoulders and hair; stand out from the background; special effect Side lighting - can create a shadow on one side of the face/set; shows direction of light; special effect Up lighting – from footlights or cans; spooky, ghoulish effect McCandless Method : combine top lighting & side lighting advantages with color to make a flattering, neutral light on the actor/set.

45 L IGHTING - A NGLES Front Lighting McCandless Method ml


47 A ND NOW, A B RIEF B REAK FOR A P ROFESSIONAL S HOW …. Lighting Design Powerpoint – CSULB TH 148 Graduate Lighting Design, Dr. Jacques View Slides 316 – 330 Entire Show can be downloaded & viewed at f 68a5d3cad48e606f37& 2f%7edjacques%2fpage_powerpoint_presentations.htm

48 B ASIC D ESIGN S TEPS READ THE SCRIPT!!! – Note setting(s), mood, beats, char. Obtain a floorplan of the set – Set Designer Determine the main acting areas - Director Draw a large circle on the floorplan for each acting area For each large circle area, determine how you will fill that space with light. Instruments Gels for color Determine any other special acting areas that are impt. to the director – Director For each special area, determine how you will light that space, &/or the actor(s) in it

49 S O, W HAT I NSTRUMENT D O I U SE ??? General washes: Fresnels Par cans Scoops Special lights: Spotlights Ellipsoidals/Lekos Footlights Border lights Par cans

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