I did the lighting design for Inherit the Wind just this past April. The play basically has two settings; the courtroom and the town square. When I lit this show, the play began with pools of light on each townsperson as they began speaking, eventually filling the whole stage as the town came to life. When the scene switches to the jail, i used a deep blue light on Bert (the defendant) as the baliff approached, and then a dim no color light when Rachel began to speak to Bert.
When Brady (lawyer for the prosecution) arrived, I used the town's wash and then brightened the raised area from which he and the mayor spoke.
When Drummond (lawyer for the defense) arrived to check out the courtroom, I slowly went to a red wash, seeing as the town pictures him as 'the devil'.
For the courtroom, when it was in session i used a general pink wash with a dark red fill because of the heat and the tension. When the court was not in session, i used some no color lighting and dimmed the general wash, almost putting the stage in the appearance of worklights. When someone had a key line/speech in the courtroom, he/she got a special brightened in their area.
There is also a night session in the town square, so i used light blue lights with breakup gobos. As the Reverend got more intense in his speech and Drummond showed up on the otherside of the stage, i filled in with some deep red.
At the end of the show when Drummond is silently packing and thinking, the courtroom dimmed to 2 pools of light, one on the witness stand and one where he was at the defense table. When he left, it sat for a second and then faded to black.
Hope this helps you, and i'll go look for my script and lighting design to see if i left anything out.
We will be doing Inherit the Wind at school in the fall next year (yes, I am trying to plan in advance). Has anyone here done Inherit the Wind, and what did you do as far as effects are concerned? It seems like a lights-on-lights-off show, but I want to do make it somewhat interesting to light.
I would say that most shows are "lights-on-lights-off" shows. The question is which lights go on and off and what you do with them. I feel like you might be approaching this in the wrong order. Effects should be used to achieve a design objective so if I were you I would be focusing on coming up with my goal and THEN figuring out how to achieve them. If that includes effects than so be it. If it doesn't than adding them won't make the show visually interesting, it will just be distracting. That said, I designed ITW last year which was exiting for me since it is my favorite straight play of all time and I spent a lot of time focusing on realistically capturing the environment of the courthouse complete with the news crews and photographers that packed the room. I rented DMX controlled strobe caps for S4s and used them at various points to create camera flashes. That's pretty much the closest to an "effect" that I got.
You can make a LU/LD show very interesting. You can have the lights go up and down several times per minute, if the show calls for it. On a recent show I did, we had a bunch of kids and the initial temptation is to make each scene lights up, scene, lights down, but you can do a lot more with that in terms of the controllable properties of light, and using them to your advantage in setting the mood. Effects wise, unless you really have a good reason to use one, its generally not something to worry about too much. Strobes, MLs, Moving gobos, all have their place, and all can get used, but as was mentioned above, light the show first, make THAT part interesting, then go in and add effects where you might need them. THinking back, only one "magical" theatre moment I have experienced on either side of the board (in the audience or in the booth/designing etc) has ever really happened, and that was the moment that got me into technical theatre in the first place... Since then, pretty much all the theatre magic I have absolutely been taken over has been just a few lights, pointed in the right place at the right time at the right intensity in the right colors, and its magic. Not all of us have the budget of Wicked to have 6 MLs cross in and pick up a flying actor in mid-air while the smoke rolls under her (it was awesome!) or do anything that the Cirque does. But anyone can make this happen: Zenfolio | Leighanne Evelyn Photography | Backborn or this http://www.leighanneevelyn.com/p507608147/h3faac67b#h3a655755 , (one S4 each, in the right color and focus, and any old ERS or even maybe a fresnel would do. ) and it was absolutely stage magic. Heck, the most intense scene I have ever seen was in a blackout... Be creative, and have fun making the show look good, and then worry about effects like strobes and confettie and stuff.
I haven't done much lighting but begin lighting for our theaters production Inherit The Wind this week. We have a couple of evening, sunset, or dusk scenes and am wondering how to light them.
I have some idea of how I want to focus the lights and such but I am unsure as to what colors to pick (I am going to try and get some new colors for the theater). What have you used in the past to accomplish this effect?
Billings! I brought up a whole bunch of source 4's for cirque dreams to that town!
Anyhow, with sunsets, its as important to think about angles as well as color. Go outside and watch a sunset what do you see, a strong low, saturated orange color coming in just on the horizon. There are a whole range of colors you can choose from but I like double R18 for that. Also think about mixing in a lavender to balance it out and show the night creeping in.
You live in Big Sky Country! Go outside, bring a swatchbook and really look and see what a sunset looks like and pay attention to every little detail of what makes it feel like nightfall!
Thanks for your suggestion! I don't actually have a swatchbook yet. I made the theater order me one yesterday. I went with the roscoluxline because that is what I am most familiar with. Of course my knowledge is minimal seeing as I started in on light design just a 2ish weeks ago. The TD was let go and I stepped in until they find a replacement.