need help lighting 24 hour projects


Active Member
Theme: Risk
Time: 8pm Oct 26, 2007 - 8pm Oct 27,2007

At 8pm on the 26th, theme is announced and casts are choosen. Playwrights have until 8am on the 27th to write the script. Casts and crew have until 3pm to on the 27th to design and load-in lights and sound. Tech rehearsals are 1hr each for the 4 directors and casts(from 3pm-7pm). at 7:30 house opens, 8pm, curtain.

I'm the light designer, any ideas on color, ect?


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Senior Team
Premium Member
You can't design until you have a script and something to light. The point of these activities is to make it up as you go. Go in with an empty mind and just do it, from people I know who have done these type of things loved it, give it a try and try new things!


Well-Known Member
So there are 4 separate shows, in the same space, at the same time?
You have to balance your design to work with all 4 shows, correct?

There's not much I can say. Until you have something to work with all you know is "I will need light on stage in 24 hours". So there isn't much to go on. Wait until you know what the scripts are. Confer with other designers, actors, and playwrights while they work to get a sense of the direction the show is going. That's all I've got.


Active Member
So Ive done 2 of these 24 hour plays before, there really fun. But before you start you have to make sure that you have a rep plot up, cause otherwise that will eat up all of your time in a hurry. Your writers have a lot longer then our did, but basically if you have a solid rep plot you can then read your scripts quick and then chat with your directors to find out what specials are needed. Other than that, our lighting has tended to be pretty simple cause there really just isnt enough time to see full runs of the pieces and then hang, cause the directors are usually finishing blocking right up to tech.


Well-Known Member
I'm no theater person, but if I could hang lights before I had scripts, I would make a general wash for the deck, and make a few specials at various points. Probably have a few reds, blues and ambers, but don't get too aggressive with color until you have the scripts in hand. Then you can make adjustments and be done with it.


Well-Known Member
Fun !!!!!!

As you know, most Lighting Designers carry around a bunch of default plots in the back of their brain. Dig up one of the generic ones then add/delete/move as more information comes in. It also helps (although might be considered cheating) to think up a couple of potential "ringer" scenes with hopes of using them in one of the shows! (I say cheating because lights are suppose to follow scripting and complement it as compared to the other way around, but hey, it's fun.)


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I would hang a good generic rep plot ahead of time. If you are saying you already know the theme is Risk, then you can assume the shows for the most part won't be comic. As such I would go with a very generic Rosco 02/or 10 and 60. Either wash will look good for any sort of drama. Now figure out what you have left for specials. I would sit down with all the directors at once and a ground plan... you don't have time to design you only have time to do what they ask you. So tell them there is a basic light wash and there is enough lighting left over for them to have "x" specials each. Those specials can either be an entire color wash or in specific locations. You want all the directors at once so they can say... "well that location is close enough for a special that I want to use as well Let's share that spot". Put it on the directors to find ways to share lighting... maybe two directors will both want a red wash... fine they can both give up the instruments they need to do it. Put as much of the responsibility on them to tell you what they want.

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