Stage Lighting in the Practical Application

1. The brief description of lighting

Dramatic performances, except daytime performances in outdoors, all require a set of lights. But if the function of the stage lighting is only lighting, then what we have to do is to arrange a set of fluorescent lights hanging on the stage for the actors and props to be provided a stable and smooth light. However, it is obviously that the stage lighting has more effects than ordinary lights. A set of efficient stage lighting can create much fun by combining a visual element together.

What is stage lighting?


Stage Lighting has both diversity and regularity. The most important feature is that stage lighting can make audience’s mood ups and downs with the color of lights’ changing, which is more close to the plot and character emotion.

Stage lighting can be divided into three groups:

A. Stage light (lights hanging against the auditorium ceiling in Catwalk). Usually used as surface light.

B. Four rows of lights on the stage (the first row of lights for lighting the actors’ faces; the second row has a three-dimensional effect for lighting actors’ heads; the third row is for the rear part, the fourth row of light is for shining the curtain)

C. Lights on both left and right sides.

This area is usually stage lighting designers’ imagination space. If the light sources or color films or angle varies, the lines of lights will be various. The variety of lights not only enrich the actor’s facial expressions, but also create huge space for audience. Especially in creating an atmosphere to enhance the mood, it has almost the same features as music. The difference is that it uses the degree of darkness and color to symbolize or hint the plot. Taking text for example, actors and scenery is real pen, but light is visual pen. Designers should use brain technology to express “depressive”, “indignant” and other abstract adjectives. So when you watch a stage lighting show from the stage of hue and colors instead of listening narration or lines, you can understand the drama of the season, the weather, the time and even the emotional changes of roles. In general, comedy uses warm colors and tragedy cold colors. Of course, no shades of shadow effect is also an excellent way of expression. However, the director’s vision for the lights, is actually one of the main factors to maintain the consistent style of the whole drama. Generally, dim lights are for the tragedy and horror while warm and bright lights for dramas with optimistic theme.

The function of stage lighting.

(1) Selective visibility and focus
In the theater, we often used a sentence to describe the effect of light: we just present something that audiences want to watch. We expose the wanted part under the light while the other part in the darkness. Therefore, selective visibility is the importance of stage lighting according to location or character, as there are many levels and selective lightings. Because human eyes are particularly sensitive to lights, so when the stage lights are lit, the audience will be attracted to the lighting spot. In another word, stage lightings are similar to the tour guide, which can lead the audiences to the spotlight during the process of performance.

(2) Presenting the fixed situation of time and space
Some scenery have implied or implied situations of time and space. For example, if this scene took place in a certain period of a day in the morning or afternoon, then these plays in real time and space becomes the basic conditions of a lighting design to determine the direction of the relevant light and color, by which one can create the effect of sun lights in the afternoon or the effect of early morning in winter or the effect of red leaves in autumn and so on.

(3) Setting the color mood with colorful stage screen
Stage space is a curtain. Without lightings , stage sets, costumes and other objects can not be seen. Therefore, lighting is director and lighting designer’s tool, color brush and paints, by which they can design any color they like.

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