As blockbuster movies take up more and more of our time and attention, the classic theater play stubbornly hangs around. There’s something about live stage acting that can’t be replaced by the big screen. However, great directors understand the importance of professional quality lighting for their stage productions. Good equipment and solid lighting technique can help theater productions to stay relevant, and even ahead, of our effects-obsessed entertainment culture.
Stage lighting can be used to control the focus of the audience where simple camera tricks can’t be employed. Imagine a character in a play, feeling lonely and isolated, beginning to sing a melancholy song at the far end of the stage. A spotlight can help to draw the audience gently towards him. Or maybe a thief is sneaking up behind an oblivious cast, while a light is used to make the audience fully aware of his presence.
Similarly, different qualities and colors of light can be used to affect the mood of any stage production. It’s easy to forget the extent to which different colors are associated with complex feelings and emotions. A stage dimly shrouded in blue-tinted hues provides a much different mood than one illuminated by bright yellow light.
Stage productions are also limited in the quantity and types of props that can be added to any given scene. Professional lighting is a great way to emulate things like snowflakes falling from the sky or the shadows of a dark forest when you are limited by space, time, and budget. Lighting effects are more vivid and realistic than ever before, and can greatly contribute to the “wow” factor of a stage production.
Lighting that is expertly planned and handled by highly skilled professionals can affect an audience in ways that they don’t even realize. For example, lights can produce and enhance illusions of depth that stretch the capabilities of a limited stage. What is important is not how the stage is set up, but how it appears to be set up from the vantage point of the audience.
Of course, these effects aren’t limited to traditional stage plays. They can be used to enhance anything from a musical performance to an elegant ballroom event. To see how lighting can improve the aesthetics of whatever important occasion you have planned, visit Studio 33 Stage Lighting and Special Effects.