The Lighting Designer Is responsible for creating an appropriate lighting plan, both from the viewpoint of functionality (simply being able to see the actors), and from the artistic appearance of the lighting (e.g. are scenes set indoors or outdoors, in the early morning, mid-afternoon or late evening). There are two main aspects to this role:

  1. Designing a a lighting plan, which details exactly which lights need to be hung where around the stage area in order to achieve all of the effects required by the show. On more complex shows, this can require careful coordination with the Set Designer, Technical Director and/or Stage Manager to ensure that the lighting and other effects work smoothly together.
  2. Working through the script, designing the look of each individual scene from the available lights (known as plotting), and marking cues in the script at the points when the lighting needs to change, so that the Deputy Stage Manager (on complex shows) or Lighting Operator (on smaller shows, often those in studio spaces) knows when change the lighting states should be changed.

Some directors will have a very strong view about the overall design, whereas others will give their designers a greater input into creating the look of the show.

For best results, the Lighting Designer should work with the other designers to ensure the lighting design is consistent with the overall design ideas. A production will look a lot better if each designer is following a consistent thread and taking into account of the look and atmosphere being created by the other designers.

It is normally left up to the Lighting Designer to decide whether they also want to take on the responsibilities of the Chief Electrician, Lighting Desk Programmer and Lighting Operator. If you do want additional people to take on these roles, you should discuss it at an early production meeting, so as to ensure that everybody in the show knows what is happening, and that suitable time is allowed to find people to take on these roles.

Useful resources[edit]

ADC guide - an introduction to stage lighting

CUADC guide to LDing

Wiki content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence.

Lighting Designer Vacancies

Lighthouse is looking for a Lighting Designer and Sound Designer!
21:30, Wed 22nd – Sat 25th November 2023 at Corpus Playroom
Michaelmas Week 7

Do you love innovative, devised theatre? Do you want to help bring a student-created show to life? 'Lighthouse' is looking for a Lighting Designer  and Sound Designer  to help bring our show to life! Check out the full details to apply...

Contact before 8th Oct 2023 23:59 for more details.

Summer with Monika is looking for a prod team!
Summer with MonikaPembroke Players
21:30, Tue 24th – Sat 28th October 2023 at Pembroke New Cellars
Michaelmas Week 3

Assistant Director , Sound Designer , Lighting Designer , Set Designer 

Contact before 1st Oct 2023 01:00 for more details.

FORESIGHT - Wider Prod Team Applications are open!
ForesightQueens' College Amateur Dramatics Society
19:30, Fri 10th – Sun 12th November 2023 at Fitzpatrick Hall
Michaelmas Week 5 to Week 6

Foresight (or, the Final Days of Giovanni Pontiero) is looking to fill a number of technical roles, including a Lighting Designer , Set Designer , Projection Designer, Costume Designer  and Welfare Officer. ------ This new musical by Max Mason and Ben Cole is a heartfelt and true story of LGBT expression and liberation in the midst of the AIDS crisis, as well as an examination of the artistry of translation, and we're so excited to be bringing it to the incredible Fitzpatrick Hall in Week 5!

Contact before 1st Oct 2023 01:00 for more details.