The role of the lighting designer within theatre is to work with the director, set designer, and costume designer, to create an overall 'look' for the show in response to the text, while keeping in mind issues of visibility, safety and cost. The lighting designer also works closely with the stage manager on show control programming.


We have modern, computer capable equipment for lighting design. From this station, the house manager can control all the lights in the building. There is a special emergency switch in the system that when thrown shuts down all the lights instantly. The house lights have emergency battery backup power to special lamps in the art deco sconces that provide illumination in any emergency.


How to draw a straight line

Sounds simple doesn't it? Draw a straight line. Go ahead, give it a try. Take your pencil and draw a straight line. Hint: drawing a line side to side is easier then up and down. Not easy is it? Now, try a ruler. In technical theater we use rulers all the time. You don't have one? How about the edge of an index card? Maybe the edge of that math book you want to throw across the room. You have a lot of straight edges you could use in place of a ruler. 

Several tools are available to use to draw our lines.

These painting pages are our newest addition to the site. Given time, we hope that they will help you in creating your scenic elements for your productions. We've added a link to a site that has sets of instructions for decorative painting techniques.

See also the "pro corner" page.

One of the most often painted fake things are doors. These sliding doors are actually flat flats. Paint is applied in the direction that wood grain would run for each board. Then, hi-lights and shadows are added to give the effect of depth. To learn this technique, you should start with a basic gray door and then paint lighter & darker gray panels. After that, add white hi-lights and black shadows. sldngd1



Here is a fantastic view of FOH mixing for Legally Blonde . Posted on YouTube by Sam Johnson

Performed by the cast of Legally Blonde at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. Make sure annotations are on to see who each fader is. DISCLAIMER: the audio distorts during some sections because of how loud the show is and the quality of mic on the camera.

Here is a fantastic view of FOH mixing for One Day More from Les Miz. Posted on YouTube by Sam Johnson

Captured during a performance of Les Mis at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, in Michigan. SoundCraft Vi6, mixed with VCA faders using the "line-by-line" technique. Snapshots recalling VCA assignments and various routing and effect parameter changes, such as panning and reverb time. House system is LCR with vocals primarily center and orchestra left/right.


It is expected of any technician that they be prompt, efficient, and responsible. Further, they must be supportive of the team's efforts to put on a good show. In line with that, they should have a good understanding of the chain of command, and what position they hold on the ladder. The SOUND OPERATOR gets their initial instructions on the show from the sound designer, after which they become a part of the running crew responsible to the Stage Manager.


Special Effects for the stage is a wide ranging area of stage magic. Making a light flash, and door swing open on its own, making "fire" on stage could all be considered special effects. Several articles here may also belong to other categories. Such as electrics, rigging, sound, etc...

Overview of general rigging items. Knots are under their own menu item.

Overview of general rigging items. Knots are under their own menu item.

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