XII- Lights:

• Like all of the other elements of design, lights are a very useful tool to enhance the play and to stimulate visually the sensory perceptions of the audience members.
• This process also takes place 2 or 3 weeks prior to the performance.
• When designing lights, the designer has some basic tools to enhance his/her conception of the design. These are:
Color: Colors are added on to the lights by using gels, thin pieces of cellophane looking paper. Colors are divided between warm and cool tones. Warm colors are reds, oranges and yellows; cool colors are blues, purples, and greens. Warm colors suggest passion, heat, evil, any any other emotions associated with these. Cool colors suggest winter, stiffness, etc. Keep this in mind when designating colors for any specific scenes.
Intensity: The intensity of the lights is measured in percentages, and it is normally recorded on to the computer when the cues are entered.The intensity is first given to the lighting designer by the director on paper in the preliminary cue sheet. If any of these percentages don’t look good, they may be adjusted in the cue to cue rehearsal.
Time: The amount of time that each cue takes in fading in and out is also an important element of design; for instance, an abrupt fade out causes a very different impression in the audience than a fade out that takes five seconds.
Type of lights: In a theater like the Statler Auditorium, there are three types of lights:

1-) stage lights
2-) house lights (lights in the audience)
3-) conference lights, which light the area in front of the stage curtain.

A. Duties of the lighting designer:
• Meet with the director and discuss the general concept for the play.
• If you think that additional lights/ equipment needs to be rented due to special circumstances, it may be ordered from Cornell Productions. The information to contact this group is provided in the general contact sheet in the production section of this packet.
• Attend rehearsals and be familiarized with the staging of the play.
• Two or three weeks before the performance, the director will provide the lighting designer with a ground plan of the set along with a design on paper of the way he/she would like the lighting design to be. The easiest way to design lights on paper is by allocating a letter to each of the areas in the ground plan (see attached ground plan). Each of these areas named by a letter is called a plot.
• On the preliminary cue sheet that the director will hand in to the designer, the cues will be identified by a number i.e. cue #5 (to differentiate them from the letters for the sound cues). The cues should be numbered using the multiples of 5, leaving plenty of free numbers between them in case any other cues need to be added later on.
• On the paper design cue sheet, the director will indicate which plots need to be lit for each specific cue. In addition to this the intensity, color, time, page number in the text, and cue from the actors must also be specified in this chart. The lighting designer must have studied this information before rehearsals in the theater begin. Time in the theater is very limited, and therefore it needs to be used wisely.
Rehearsals in the theater:
• The first rehearsal in the theater is a spacing rehearsal. While the set designer accommodates the set to the new space, and the actors get used to these changes, the designer is in charge of studying the lightboard and learning how to use it.
• The next step is to determine which lights will be useful for the purposes of the staging. The individual lights are connected on to the computer by means of channels which vary in terms of intensity and may control more than one light at a time.
• Each light has a number. More than one light can be assigned to one channel. This is called “patching”. Patching is very useful when more than one light is needed to illuminate a plot.
• Record the general light plots on to the computer. ( In the case of Violines y trompetas, the lighting designers would have recorded the plots labeled A-F identified in the enclosed ground plan).
• Once the spacing for the set has been determined, the next step is to focus the lights. For these matters, the actors should not be on stage. They should only come on stage if the director/ designer requests them to do so.
• After the lights have been focused, all the cues should be recorded on the computer as specified on the design on paper. These cues will be adjusted during the cue to cue rehearsal, which is the next step.
• During the cue to cue rehearsal (for more information see the sound section of this course packet), the designers and the director/stage manager need to be in constant communication. They will run cues for both lights and sound in the order that they appear in the play. It will be necessary to make adjustments in the lighting design as it has been recorded on the computer. These changes should be made as the cue to cue progresses and the actors should be available to repeat the cues for the designers.
• After the cue to cue is completed, have as many run-throughs as possible to make sure that the designers clearly understand and know all of their cues.
Please stay until the very end of the rehearsals. Notes are as important to the designers as they are to the actors.