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Lighting Design task

Fill in the tables for a specific moment of your choice between p19 – p22. Make sure you can
justify your answers by being specific about how your design links to what is going on in that
scene and how your design links to the overall themes/plot/characters of Two Faces.
Scene (Briefly what happens
in this scene)
Distribution (Is there a wash?
Is there general cover? Is
there a spotlight on one part
of the stage?)
Intensity (how bright is the
light?) Use percentages
Colour (do you want
naturalistic or symbolic?)
Soft edge or hard edge?
Justification (Write below
why you want the scene to
have the lighting this way)
Now fill in the table for how you would use sound and music.
Scene (Briefly
what happens in
this scene)
(What sound or
music do you
When is it
Where on stage?
(surround, from
location on stage)
Live or
What impact do
you want on
Lights and the lighting designer
Lights can be useful for defining different locations on the stage, creating mood and
atmosphere, highlighting key moments of action and directing the audience’s focus. Lighting
can denote time of year or day and can also be used in an abstract or symbolic way, such as
using a red light to symbolise danger or passion.
The lighting designer must also know the play very well. They work closely with the director to
understand what they want to communicate in each scene and where the focus of the action
onstage should be. They also work closely with the set designer, as they both play such a large
role in the visual impact of a production. Often the realisation of the set designer’s artistic
vision depends greatly upon the way their set is lit.
Increasingly LED lighting is being used as technology advances. Lighting is also used in
conjunction with state of the art ICT in productions like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
The lighting designer designs lighting cues. That means they decide when to move from one
lighting state to the next. A sudden change to a different lighting state is called a snap and a
slow change where one state overlaps another is called a fade.
Music and sound
The sound designer is responsible for how a production sounds beyond the noise the actors
make. Sometimes the sound designer is responsible for music too, but usually music and sound
design are separate roles. It depends on the requirements of the show. A production with a lot
of live or incidental music might have a separate composer, who writes original music for the
production or a musical director, such as in Musical theatre.
Some shows use a lot of sound effects and it's the sound designer’s job to decide what should
be added where to enhance a production. They must then source the sounds and plan when
they come in, when they stop and what volume level they should be at for best effect. If the
sound designer operates the sound during performance they will have headphones so that they
can check the sound effect or piece of music played is ‘cued up’ and ready to play at the right
time. A loud sound effect coming in at the wrong moment could spoil a scene and break the
theatrical illusion.
Making sound choices
Once again, the artistic choices the sound designer makes will depend on the style of the
production. Just like lights, sound can be used effectively to create atmosphere and location,
such as adding a faint sound of birdsong under a scene set in a garden. Sound can also be used
in an abstract way. For example, you could choose sounds which reflect the emotions of the
characters onstage or a sound that creates fear or builds tension, eg a repetitive ticking noise
that increases in volume throughout a scene.
Music may also be used to create mood and atmosphere. Playing it underneath the action
onstage in this way is called underscoring. Can you think of a production where the music
choices impressed you?
Choice of music is very important. You must decide if it should be live or recorded and consider
whether it improves the work or if a scene would be more powerful without it.
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