Good stage lighting can add a lot of things
to your productions. First, it helps the audience to see the actors, sets, costumes, and props
clearly. It also helps to make things like stage lights,
curtains and other backstage items that we don’t want the audience to see kind of vanish
onstage. This is called lighting the stage for visibily,
or seeing what needs to be seen. Good stage lighting also helps the audience
figure out what time of day it is, where the play takes place, and other aspects of the
physical environment the director wants to establish. This lighting lets the audience know that
the play takes place inside a house, probably at night, since the lamp is on. This type
of lighting where there is an obvious source of light visible to the audience, in this
case the lamp, is called motivated light. This lighting suggests an outdoor scene shortly
after daybreak in a wooded area with the sun shining through trees. This sort of light,
where the audience can’t see a source of lighting on stage is called random light. This lighting is evening, outdoors. With a
night sky and stars. It’s another example of random light. Establishing the environment on stage is when
we use lighting to help the audience figure out what time of day it is, where the play
takes place, and other aspects of the physical environment of the play. Hi. Welcome to this introduction to stage
lighting. My name is Marti Fowler. And I’m Bob Fowler. Good stage lighting does several things. As
we’ve seen, it helps the audience see the actors, sets, props, and costumes clearly.
And can also tell the audience what time of day it is, where the play takes place, and
what environment the director wants to establish. Good lighting also helps the director show
the audience where to look on stage, where the audience’s attention should be drawn.
This is called placing the action. Generally, the audience’s attention will be drawn to
the brightest area of the stage. One of the most used lighting instruments
is a fresnel. A fresnel is a medium throw spotlight that uses a special lens to give
a soft edged light. See the circles in the lens of the fresnel?
These circles help to give the fresnel a controlled, yet soft light. It can be focused by moving the lamp and the
reflector closer or farther from the lens. The edges of the light from a fresnel can
be squared off somewhat by using a barn door. Fresnels are usually used above the stage
from the electrics to light the midstage and upstage areas.