Stage Lighting Revealed:  A Design and Execution Handbook, by Glen Cunnigham

Stage Lighting Revealed: A Design and Execution Handbook, by Glen Cunnigham


Cunningham’s reader-friendly introduction to stage lighting and design is ideal for getting prospective lighting designers started on their own journey. Readers are encouraged to experiment and tap their creativity by selecting from the processes and techniques detailed throughout the book. Many diagrams, charts, and photographs complement and enhance the concepts presented in the text.

Lighting is a blend of the aesthetic and the technical that can create an infinite number of dramatic effects. Good lighting design completes the emotional and literal portrayals of any performance piece, accenting words, music, and movement.

Stage Lighting Revealed explains what designers from high school teens, community theatre groups, and journeyman professionals need to know when creating or executing an effective lighting design, including:

  • Understanding the basic functions of lighting and the qualities of light used to carry out these functions.
  • Understanding the equipment that will be used, including its mechanics and functions.
  • Deciding what they want to create, or say, with lighting.
  • Laying out the visual messages they wish to convey.
  • Creating original interpretations with light.
  • Determining how the design can be executed.

Among the topics discussed are:

  • using color to play to the audience’s emotions;
  • what to consider when you place instruments in the five basic lighting positions;
  • breaking a performance into lighting moments,
  • laying the lighting design,
  • bringing that design to life;
  • using and maintaining the many types of stage lighting fixtures;
  • commonsense troubleshooting;
  • stretching your lighting budget;
  • pulling off a successful load-in, production, and post-production.

A Review from School Library Journal states:

This comprehensive, well-illustrated volume could serve as a basic reference manual for career technicians, and could also be a primer for teens involved in school drama departments. The book is divided into three parts: design, equipment selection, and lighting the show. Each section covers all aspects of the subject, from artistic considerations to technical concerns. The jargon of the profession is defined, and commonly used procedures are explained in detail. Eight useful appendixes cover such topics as symbols, wiring diagrams, gel comparisons and descriptions, and troubleshooting. Black-and-white photographs, drawings, and charts appear throughout, providing excellent graphic explanations of the topic. Novices can learn it all here.”