The Importance of Stage Lighting
The Disco Biscuits - City Bisco - 10/5/12 - The Mann Center for the Performing Arts - Philadelphia, PA - Photo © Dave Vann 2012

You probably have seen a play or an opera before and you marvelled at the beauty of the show. You are impressed by the elegance, the smoothness of the show, and how dramatic everything can be. Well, the perfection is most likely happening because of the great lighting quality and arrangement. After all, a theatrical performance (or any other performances on the stage) depends on the stage lighting.

The Main Functions

So, why is stage lighting important in the live performance? What kind of light should you choose when you are planning a show or a performance. Well, you need to take a good look at the functionality first. A stage lighting is designed to make the stage visible. Audiences are supposed to see everything – all the movements, all the flow, and even the expressions of the players. Visibility is the major purpose of having a good-quality lighting but it should be able to capture the essence and atmosphere as well.

When we are talking about stage lighting, there are four major functions that should be fulfilled from the lighting, covering some of these aspects:

  • Visibility. As it was mentioned before, visibility is the major reason why stage lighting is crucial in the stage performance even when there are times that the lights should be off. Everything is included in the stage management.
  • Motivation. For a good setting and mood, the light should be natural. Whatever the setting is – whether it is a broad daylight or the night scene, it should look natural and ‘normal’. It is crucial that the light is appropriate to the context of the show or performance.
  • Composition. It is a part of Scenic Design whose composition is to enhance the visual and artistic elements of the performance. It includes blocking that will put the actors in the right spot – when and where everything is needed and necessary.
  • Mood. The play of lights should be able to create a certain atmosphere or mood. Whether it is dark, cheerful, dark, dramatic, or tragedy, such mood can be conveyed from a simple play of the light. Mood can be generated through the combination of motivation, amount of light, and composition.

The Importance

Can you imagine going to a show and see nothing because of the darkness on the stage? What’s the point of having the performance anyway if you can’t see anything? The lighting will be one of the most importance aspects of the performance that can make audiences enthralled and engaged. Without it, what can you expect from a performance, anyhow?