first time design looking for opinions


I've been doing tech for my high school for a couple years but this is my first time in lighting design. I'm designing for a show called "The Love of Three Oranges" (yeah, nobody else has heard of it either). Our performing space is pretty small, about a 35'x35' amphitheatre-style classroom. I have bars on three side of the room to hang lights, we have 8 PARs, 4 8" Fresnels, and 4 specials. I'm trying to pick my gel colors right now and i'd like to see what you guys think. The overall look of the show is supposed to be very cartoony. I have to light 3 main areas, the stage, the audience (we're using audience space to perform in this show), and a live band. The stage will be cartoony while the audience should look realistic (lighting-wise). I might (more like probably) be way off on these, but here are the colors i have so far for the design.

Stage (Day Wash) = R51
Stage (Night Wash) = R359
Audience (Day Wash) = R60
Audience (Night Wash) = R365
Band = R4760
Spotlights on a giant book which will serve as a backdrop for the action (these will only be up when the washes are down, and the narrarator has frozen action in the scene to speak)
= R18
Narrarator Spot = R05
Moon Gobo = R365
Foliage Gobo (forest scenes) = R388

Any criticisms you guys have would be great. I fully expect what i have to be absolutely terrible so feel free to tear it apart.

Doesn't seem to me to be oversaturated which would be one of the first or normal mistakes in initially choosing gel.

After that, I have not designed enough of late to speak much on gel choices. Really have 8" fresnels in a classroom?

In the end, as long as not too dark, much of color choice does depend upon your show and your intent for what it looks like or conveys. School is where you get to experiment and learn what works and what does not as well without modifications.

One question might be that given the few fixtures you have, is your day wash - a blue/white that provides a sort of cool daylight look as a theory; is it bright enough on stage just using the amount of fixtures gelled with it, or do you as with all other color choices in using fixtures gelled with other colors have to supplement a look with fixtures gelled in different colors a lot to get light on stage?

Can a person get from one end of the stage to another in not having the lighing change in going from light to shadow or one color to another?

In other words, I count 16 fixtures and nine gels one of which if single fixture/gel as a narrator is perhaps a single fixture as is the moon gobo.

That's still less than two fixtures per gel color in lighting an entire stage. If you deconstruct the fixtures more, folliage gobo unless more than one fixture is another one, etc. Lots of special purposes granted, but not a lot left to ensure a balanced coverage of the stage with in color choices over a fairly large acting area. This might be my caution.

Given two colors and two saturations of wash, as general lighting than a bunch of specials, how well is the stage lit should the narrator and or cast wish to walk about the stage? Do they move from the intended primary choice in daylight at it's center to a slightly darker or more blue area than back to the center during the course of the action for instance? Often the actors will take a walk while holding the attention of the audience, this or walk down stage. Given this movement about the stage, if they start in a bright area and move into a dark area, the audience looses attention to them. If they can't be seen as well they won't be heard as well. I note some narrator specials, is it all about standing still during these as a possibility, or is there other places on stage for the action?

Not bad to have a day/night color pallet, but also given key and fill light for night verses day and perhaps a bit of back light, do you have enough fixtures of any one gel type?

Don't know if what I'm attempting to caution against is well stated. Perhaps someone else can read what is above and re-state it's perhaps two points to look at. Just seems like a lot of intent for a little less than a optimum amount of fixtures given the amount of square footage of the stage.
i may not have been really clear about the stage dimensions...the actual stage area is 8 feet deep and 20 feet wide (counting the seperate band area, house right, as a seperate area) i've tested, and 3 PARs are more than enough to bathe the stage in light even with a really dark gel. So I'll use 3 PARs for a stage-day wash and 3 PARs for a stage-night wash. The fresnels are delegated to lighting the audience area (which is about 16x30). I'm using them becuase i can adjust the focus on the back to turn them into what essentially equates to a flood. I'll then hang them in the corners of the space, throwing diagonally to the opposite corners, for maximum coverage. I'm using my two remaining PARs in a similar fashion to light the audience for a night scene, though if my director doesnt block any audience roaming into the few night scenes i'll repurpose them to add to my stage washes.

The audience area is important to light for this show because it is being utilized as a major acting space. The motivation behind the darker gels on the stage washes is one of the major ideas for the show. The stage area will be lighted colorfully and cartoony, while the audience area will be lighted realistically. The idea is that characters will "step out of" the cartoon world into real life (and then back in) and the lights will facilitate this concept. As for loosing audience attention becuase of going from light to dark...the only time the actors will go from light to dark is when going from the audience back to the which case the action will be again right in front of the audience. Again i should emphasize just how small the space is.

The narrarator is set to be lit with one of the four Source Four's we have (the classroom is small enough we just use them as spots), but this will only be used in instances where the characters are "frozen", the narrarator steps on, speaks, then "unfreezes" the action (all the while washes brought down for the "freeze" and up for the "unfreeze"), so I just used a standard R05. The narrarator will keep himself in the spot (or my director will block him this way, he's used to doing this because we can't use follow spots)

The Source Fours on the giant book backdrop are again more of a minor detail. They'll only be used during small segments at the begining of each act, as well as a pre set that the audience will initially see before the play begins.

Depending on how things work out, I'll be able to use either one or two gobos (i may only need one Source Four for the book...hence the fuzzy math and the number of fixtures not adding up). These gobos will either be a moon gobo or a foliage gobo (or both...i'll have to look at the script, i might just switch out during intermission). But these are just detail lights, and i didn't see them as being relavent to how many lights i use for washes because they couldnt be used in a wash anyway. That is, unless I'm mistaken, which if I am, please tell me...I'm new to this.

I hope this helps clarify my ideas. Thanks alot for your far you're the only reply...the other members didn't seem too eager to take me up on my offer.
Sounds like you have a plan and design well under consideration for all I had thought of. Given easy and ready answers to what I might have given concerns over - as if a TD in the wings giving you a challenge in a way you asked for, I would say go for it.

Hopefully others will reply and raise their own questions, but in asking about your doubts it would seem in reaching out to what extent I'm able you have the design well at hand.

As for others commenting upon design, one gets what one gets. Hope to see that you remember what it's like to ask for help but not get it. Than in the future help others to the extent you can even if easy or seemingly not important but a attempt. I have a lot of pay back myself for those who taught or listened to my wacky ideas thus my commenting to you.

You now have at least one if not that of what others help you with to pay back to future people. Given you have this concept, it's just a question of others catching on in a general concept of posting and helping others instead of just Lurking.

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