(Image Left: Drama and Comedy Masks)

Photo Gallery Archive

2007 through 2008

Lighted By

(Reverse chronological order is employed so that photos
of the most recent events will be displayed first.)

West Side Story
Citadel High School at
The Quinpool Education Centre Auditorium
Halifax, Nova Scotia
April, 2008

This was the third time in four years for Richard
lighting this production. He says: Since the three
clients and venues were different, I could have been
lazy and simply used the same lighting design for all
of them. However, I liked the challenge of coming up
with yet a third look for this same musical while still
staying true to its atmosphere. The only thing repeated
for all three was the overhead street-lighting effect.

The Opening

(Image: Closeup of a Dancer Snapping his Fingers
 with others in the Background)

This shows the scaffolding set and central stage area. It is lit by a bank of 750-watt ellipsoidals from the front of house. These blend into a red on the set which is done using 1000-watt, wide-angle PAR 64s from the downstage pipe. The structure of the set is very evident here.
Note the visible fixtures silhouetted one each at the tops of the two central columns. They are barndoored, 500-watt fresnels. These, along with ones above two columns out of frame here, will be used for top/back lighting in later scenes.


(Image: The Cast Singing `America')
Gang members discuss the pros and cons of America versus Puerto Rico.
The set is lit in blue using 1000-watt, wide-angle PAR 64s from the downstage pipe. The columns represent the front of the tenements and to emphasise their roundness, the leading edges are illuminated from below using 35-watt pinspots in a slate grey. A fourth column lies out of frame to your right.
The central cast is lit in a dim amber from two 1000-watt, 37-degree ellipsoidals on the downstage pipe, while the others are lit in dim straw from front-of-house, 750-watt ellipsoidals. (The camera here sees all this as mostly red.) The four pools of amber are from 600-watt ray lights placed overhead to represent streetlights.
Notice the separation between the cast and the set with no spill from one to the other. This is important so as to emphasise stage depth to audience members in the farthest seats.

(Image: The Cast Dances)

Here, the set is lit only from each extreme side position using 600-watt ray lights to project dark lavender on to it. This gives a different atmosphere than the above. Note that the fronts of the columns show in black while only the sides are illuminated. This keeps the form of them even without being fully lit because of the contrast.
The cast is lit in straw from 750-watt front-of-house ellipsoidals set at low intensity, plus a hint of a flesh wash from the downstage pipe. Stray blue highlights come from overhead borderlights.

Doc's Store

(Image: A close View of the Cast)

This closeup shows the lighting on cast members in Doc's Store. They are lit from the downstage pipe in low-intensity amber with the central area in a fluorescent blue to represent the store's lighting. Both are done using 1000-watt ellipsoidals, two for each colour.
The set behind is barely lit for any of the "Doc's Store" scenes, but in this case it sports slight lavender and blue provided by 600-watt ray lights at the extreme sides. (More on this later.)

The Balcony

(Image: Maria and Tony Profess their Love on the

Here is Maria's balcony and the street outside her house. The rear set is in lavender from its side lighting positions, plus a blue front wash, as already described. The warm pools are from the four overhead PAR 64 ray lights. They represent the street lights in amber, but look orange to the camera. The two upper spots at the right are reflections from the set.
(The performers' lighting is discussed below.)

(Image: A Closeup of Maria and Tony on the Balcony)

This closeup better shows the key lighting on each performer. Maria's face and Tony's back are lit in light lavender to represent night light from the outside. The position is at an acute angle from the downstage pipe. Tony's face is lit in light amber from behind Maria. This represents her bedroom light. Both fixtures are 500-watt, Medium Flood PAR 56s. Tony's is actually hung from the stage-right lighting loft's railing to achieve a suitable low angle, as though it is from a night table in the bedroom.

Maria's Bedroom

(Image: Maria and Friends talk in her Bedroom)

Maria's bedroom is lit using two 1000-watt ellipsoidals in light amber. The set behind, representing the street below, has front blue and side lavender, as just described.

Maria prays that Tony has not been Killed
Maria's Prayer

(Image: Maria Kneels beside the Bed with her Hands
 Pressed Together)

  The only illumination is Maria's amber bedroom lighting, here dimmed for maximum effect. (The camera see this as very deep red.) The candle at your left is actually a 40-watt household light bulb inside a diffused, cylindrical glass. It is plugged in and placed in position by stage hands before the scene, but controlled from the lighting director's back-of-house position.

The Rumble

(Image: Gang Members Enter through the Scaffolding)
The gangs meet for the fight.
This and the next photo highlight the scaffolding side lighting, here representing the understructure of the bridge below which the gangs fight. Intense blue beams shine from direct side positions through the set to show off this structure. 600-watt ray light fixtures, arranged two to a side, one above the other and separated by half a metre, achieve this look.
Once again, note that the front of the columns is left black, plus shadows of the scaffolding cross-members are projected on to these columns. This emphasises the starkness of the structure and better represents it as the underside of a bridge.

The stage is lit in a dim amber to suggest the continuing night. (It appears dull red in these photos.) This light is from two ellipsoidals on the downstage pipe. The scene is completed with the addition of blue borderlights from overhead.

(Image: The Gang prepares to fight on Stage)

There's a Place for Us

(Image: Soloist Enters Singing from Upstage)

A soloist enters upstage at the recreation centre to sing. Again, notice the separation kept between her and the person to her right. She is lit by two 1000-watt ellipsoidals in dim amber, while the cast and set are lit in blue from the front-pipe wide-angle PARs.
As she walks farther downstage, (see the next photo) the light levels are increased but her separation remains.

As the song builds further, the lights brighten on her via increased dimmer levels, but also by the addition of a front-of-house single 1000, watt ellipsoidal. The cast light levels brighten as well by bringing up the blue wide-flood PARs on the downstage pipe along with their red counterparts so as to create a pink wash.
Back light is provided by four fresnels spaced along the top of the set behind the cast. They are in a steel blue.

(Image: The Soloist Walks between two Rows of the Cast)

Compare the above look for West Side Story
with the previous two designs by going
farther down this page and to the end of
RB Shows.

Sweeney Todd
Spartan Players
Keating Hall Theatre
Dartmouth High School
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
February/March 2008

Here is the full stage. At the left is the pie shop; upstage on the platform is the barber shop, while at the right in darkness is the judge's residence. Downstage, and off stage in the house, is the street area, which is the focus here.

(Image: Full-Stage View)
The Stage Sets.

Focus: A Street Scene

For this look, one 500-watt fresnel (visible at Top Center) illuminates the two actors on the street in a straw colour, while medium lavender back lights the area. The latter is provided by two 500-watt, PAR 56 Medium Floods. The house floor area in front of the stage is lit from high side angles by four 500-watt, PAR 64 Medium Floods in a daylight blue. The fixtures are visible at Upper Left & Right. Here, they are dimmed quite a bit as the street area in front of the house is empty at this hour.
While this scene unfolds, the pie shop and barber shop have some background action and as such are only dimly back lit. Both of these sets use dual 500-watt fresnels for this purpose - the pie shop in lavender and the barber shop in steel blue.

Fantasy Scene
(Image: Dancers Surround Sweeney's Wife)
Here, actors portray a story as related by Sweeney. The only lighting used are two 1000-watt ellipsoidals positioned above and directly left and right of the group. Each has a breakup pattern and is coloured in dark steel blue. This produces spotty, shadowy lighting on the dancers, but a larger pool where the lights converge in the center. This places the focus on the character on the floor.

(Image: The Barbers Compete in a Shaving Competition)
The Contest

The main area is illuminated with two 1000-watt ellipsoidals and one 500-watt fresnel - all in straw. Lavender backlighting is via the PAR 56s, as described earlier. The street is in daylight blue from four 500-watt PARs positioned above and directly to the sides. These fixture positions can be seen in the "Street" photo at the start. The effect is for actors on the house floor to only have light from the sides and above. This gives a semi-silhouette effect as seen from the audience. They are extras in the scene and thus don't require direct facial light for the audience's benefit.

The Judge's

(Image: The Judge speaks to his Ward)
The sitting room lighting is kept very simple with a gold tint from the front and light pink from behind. This gives a warm, homey feeling to the set. All fixtures are 500-watt fresnels, two each for the front and rear.

(Image: The Judge Sentences a Prisoner)
The Trial
This scene is lit by a single 500-watt fresnel in straw while the officer and prisoner are in daylight blue from the upper sides. The curtains have been drawn to box in the "courtroom" and limit the audience's view to just it.

The Asylum
(Image: The Sailor Speaks to the Asylum Director)

The emptiness and dismalness of the asylum is brought out by a mostly dark stage. It is lightly washed in deep blue from 1000-watt, wide-angle, PAR 64s at upper side positions in the front of house. The patients are lit by two 500-watt fresnels with a gold tint that is dimmed down. These are on a front-of-house pipe, but more directly in front of them. Backlighting is only used for the sailor and asylum director. It is from the PAR 56s in lavender, as described earlier.

    Thanks to photographers Colin Conrad, Sandy Chase, Rick Walker, and Richard Bonner of the Halifax-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia area for usage of their photos.

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