Module Identifier DR21910  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Michael J Brookes  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Pre-Requisite DR23810  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Project Work: An individual theoretical design project to be scheduled during week begining 3 May 2002 For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 100%


The aims of the module are:

- To initiate an analysis and understanding of the principles and practice of lighting design within contemporary theatre and performance;
- To promote an awareness of the spatial, ambient and dynamic possibilities of lighting within contemporary production practices;
- To outline the tools and practical methodologies necessary to engage and develop an effective design process.

Objectives / Learning Outcomes:

Typically, upon completion of this module a student should be able:

- To demonstrate a broader understanding of the role and employment of light within the construction and presentation of public performance.
- To employ an increased sensitivity for the fundamental properties of lighting, and the possibilities and consequences within their manipulation.

-   To develop the vocabulary and practice necessary to enable the recognition, formation, and articulation of initial design concepts.


An examination of the fundamental skills and principals employed within the development and realisation of design propositions; an exploration of the nature and effect of these principals; and the initial development of strategies for the communication and documentation of the resulting structural, ambient and durational event.

This material will be explored and discussed through both the analysis of material documentation and inter-related practical assignments across ten distinct workshop / seminars, and will include: -

- light and darkness, a possible beginning; key notions of light, focus and duration:
- colour temperature and contrast; the primary structural and ambient principals:
- direction, intensity, reflection and diffusion; the qualities of light:
- form and style; light within the definition and animation of a sustained spatial and dramatic construct:
- theatre lanterns, their function and status; the construction, primary qualities and use of key lantern types:
- structure, ambient and the dramatic quality of space; primary tasks in the creation of a credible and effective design:
- towards the construction of a design:
- towards the manipulation of a design:
- an introduction to rigging:
- the tools and conventions of notation.

Recognition and understanding of these principals to be developed and demonstrated across the progression of individually considered responses to group exploration and shared briefs; and will culminate in their considered employment within the documented process and presentation of a solo theoretical design project.

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Fraser, Neil (1988) Lighting and Sound Phaidon Press Ltd
Pillbrow, Richard (1988) Stage Lighting Cassell Ltd
Beacham, Richard C. (1994) Adolphe Appia, Artist and Visionary of the Modern Theatre Harwood
Holmberg, Arthur (1997) The Theatre of Robert Wilson Cambridge
Adcock, Craig (1990) James Turrell: The Art University of California
Scott, Ridley (dir.) (1982) Blade Runner (the directors cut)* Warner Bros
Tarovsky, Andrey (dir.) (1979) Stalker* Mosfilm Unit 2
Wiene, Robert (dir.) (1919) The Cabinet of Dr Caligary Decla-Bioscop
* Signifies that the title is a film
** Recommended Text
Bergman, Gosta M. (1990) Lighting in the Theatre Thames & Hudson
Shaw, Phyllida (ed.) (1996) Make Space! (Design for Theatre and Alternative Spaces) S.B.T.D.
Ruthven, Peter & Burnett Kate (eds.) (1999) Time + Space (Design for Performance) S.B.T.D.
Gillette, J. Michael (1989) Designing with Light Mayfield Publishing
Reid, Francis (1976) The Stage Lighting Handbook Pitman
Bentham, Frederick (1976) The Art of Stage Lighting Pitman
Parker, W. Oren & Wolf, Craig (1997) Scenic Design and Stage Lighting Harcourt Brace


This module is at CQFW Level 5