A theater is an open space where live performances of plays are conducted. A designer is responsible for the creation of the stage’s appearance to mirror a reality or create a virtual reality. The work of the artist is to communicate to the audience about the play and get the audience hooked on emotionally. There are to designing processes namely: scenic design and lighting design. Prop design majorly deals with the physical objects of the scene. The work of a scenic designer is to ensure, for example, for a play about a home, the scenic designer will provide the doors, windows, tables, and chairs are arranged correctly. Lighting design is concerned with the enhancement of the stage by use of lighting effects. In the paper, the use of lighting design will be discussed.
The use of lighting design can be traced back to the 17th century. Some of the known light artists are Jean Rosenthal, Robert Jones, and Maude Adams. Light can be used to enhance the stage in two ways: lighting the entire theater or focusing the light on a particular portion of the theater/stage. Objects for generalized lighting include light bulbs, candles at the stage or fires. Widespread lighting is used for visibility of the stage, actors or the theater. Spotlights are used for focused lighting: it concentrates on a particular act to increase audience concentration to the actions of the character (Adamson, 2011).
A lighting designer depends on technology. Technology is a great way to create illusions. With technology, a developer can filter the light to produce disco lights or create an illusion of snow or fog. Lighting technology can also be used to personify objects. The objects become characters and communicate something that is emotional and dramatic and has a journey of life. A computer can be used for experimenting with a new effect that the designer innovates. The use of lighting design has the following importance.
Use of special effects: light helps build the imagination of the audience. Light uses special effects which can be used to cause scenes such as; rain snow, stars, the moon, and the sun. Filtered projectors are used for the creation of these illusions. An example is a play about a young man walking at night in a forest. The designer will use special effects to create stars which give the illusion of night. Through this, the audience will be emotionally connected with the boy feel the fear in the young man walking in the forest. Lighting can also be used to create illusions of objects/actions, for example, a bomb or a gunshot. In the play Treasure Island, the designer used special effects to imitate the light produced as a gun is fired.
Increasing audience concentration: this is achieved by use of focused lighting. The audience concentrates on the bright part. The most common object used is a spotlight. Spotlights are mostly used on operas. They are also employed in plays where the focused inlaid on one or more than one of the actors. The spotlight adjusts with the movement of the player(s). In stages where this method is used, the entire theater has the spotlight as the only source of light.
Builds on designer’s creativity: lighting designer ought to be creative. The audience is always fascinated when they get to observe something that they have never seen. For theaters to prosper, the designs have always to change (Brater, 2007). The use of old methods will make the audience to loosen interest in the play. Professionals such as drawing artists, programmers, fashion designers will aid the designer to come up with inventions. The current trends in the technological industry and see how best the technologies will fit into theaters are important for a designer to observe.