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Lighting Design- THEA448 - Semesters 1 and 2
THEA 448 Syllabus

THEA448 – Lighting Design - Syllabus

Professor: David Jacques
Office Telephone: 985-4044 Home: 562-644-1155
E-Mail: djacques@csulb.edu
Office Hours: M/W 10:00 – 11:00
Class Times: Friday, 8:00 – 11:45Room: Star Chamber/Computer Lab
Webpage: http://www.csulb.edu/~djacques/

Course Objective: This course covers techniques of designing lighting for various stage forms, creative planning and projection of designs for specific productions. Covered are the fundamentals of learning how to see, exploring the mind's eye, and painting with light. Translating theatrical moments and music into lighting sketches, storyboards, and atmospheres, transitions from one atmosphere to another, and developing points of view and approaches are also studied. Fundamentals of the tools of the lighting designer, preparation for the theatre, production techniques, and assistant skills are covered.

Requirements: The student is expected to participate in class discussions, critiques, and projects. The student will also attend all the plays produced by the department so they may be discussed in class. The student is expected to attend all classes and special seminars. To fulfill the activity credit section of the class, the student will serve as lighting designer or assistant lighting designer for a Department of Theatre Arts production. Projects turned in after the due date will not be accepted unless for compelling reasons. Exam and project dates are subject to change.

Evaluations: The student will be evaluated on one practical design project that will count for a total of 25% of the final grade. This project will consist of the student serving as lighting designer for a Department of Theatre Arts Showcase production. In addition, there will be an Image Journal and Final Project (Of Mice and Men) that will each count for 25% of the final grade. The final 25% is evaluated on Class Participation.

Showcase Laboratory Assignment: The student will be evaluated on the practical laboratory assignments for the Department of Theatre Arts where the student serves as designer for a Showcase production (25% of the final grade). The professor will assign each student at least one laboratory assignment. This laboratory grade is determined on the student’s design process and effectiveness as a designer. Production books for these projects are due the week after the show opens. If the production book is not turned in by the last day of classes, the student will receive an F for the laboratory grade.

Lighting Journal: The student is expected to construct an on-going daily lighting journal containing photographs and other visual images collected by the student. In addition, this journal must include daily comments on what the student has discovered in the lighting design process. These discoveries should originate from the student’s own observations of their work, their colleagues’ work, and observations of professional designers’ work. It is expected that these comments be thorough explorations of lighting design techniques. This journal will be presented to the professor at the end of every month. This Image Journal will be presented at the Design Student Showcase. The Lighting Journal will count for 25% of the final grade.

Class Participation: Active class participation is essential to the student’s success in this course. 25% if the student’s final grade will be based on class participation.

Attendance Policy: Regular on-time attendance is mandatory. Attendance is crucial since student participation in this course is essential. Absence from this course may impact upon the work and participation of other students. Students who anticipate extended or multiple absences during a particular semester should consult with the faculty member before enrolling in this class to determine whether it will be possible to complete the requirements for the course. Students who realize after enrollment that they will have extended or multiple absences should consult with the faculty member to see whether it will be possible to complete the course requirements.

Excused absences will be granted only if written evidence (e.g. a doctor's written notice, a letter for jury duty, court documentation, or other official documentation) is provided in a timely manner. (University Attendance Policy PS 01-01, defines excused absences as 1) illness or injury to the student; 2) death, injury, or serious illness of an immediate family member or the like; 3) religious reasons (California Educational Code section 89320); 4) jury duty or government obligation; 5) University sanctioned or approved activities.) Students missing 2 or more classes will be advised to drop the class and retake it in a subsequent semester. On-time attendance at each class is expected. Points may be deducted for tardiness, leaving early, or disrespectful or disruptive behavior to other students or the instructor, e.g. talking while other students or the instructor is speaking to the whole class. In rare cases, due to a documented emergency or a "serious and compelling reason" (PS 02-12) a student may need to request an authorized incomplete or withdrawal. In such a case University Policy will be strictly adhered to. The full text of University Policy Statements may be seen at http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/grad_undergrad/senate/policy/

Refer to the official CSULB attendance policy located at: http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/grad_undergrad/senate/documents/policy/2001/01/

Documentation of excused absences is the responsibility of the student. Two or more unexcused absences will result in failure of this course. If the student misses more than three classes for any reason the student must drop the course.

Withdrawal Policy: It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from classes. Instructors have no obligation to withdraw students who do not attend courses, and may choose not to do so. The deadline to withdraw from a class without a “W” is stated in the official Schedule of Classes. Withdrawal from a course after that date requires the signature of the instructor and the department chair, and is permissible only for serious and compelling reasons. [Severe or extensive medical problems would be a reason to drop after that date, but fear of receiving a final grade lower than desired, or change in one’s work schedule are not considered a serious and compelling reasons.] A “W” will appear on the student’s transcript.


Electronic Devices: All electronic devices that have the potential to disrupt the class, its members, or the instructor must be turned off or silenced (unless approved by instructor).

Distance Learning Experiences: Distance Learning software such as Elluminate and Skype may be used from time to time to bring real-time worldwide professional experiences into the classroom. This may include graduate teaching sessions conducted by the professor from remote locations. These sessions may be held during regular class times. In addition, students may accompany the professor on external projects nationally and internationally. It is the students' responsibility to obtain all necessary travel documents, insurance, and any other travel requirements from their university, country of residence, and country to be visited.

Disabilities: It is the students' responsibility to notify the instructor in advance of any need for accommodation of a disability that has been verified by the University.

The Dramatic Imagination, Robert Edmund Jones
A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Steven Louis Shelley, Focal Press
Stage Lighting Fundamentals and Applications, Richard Dunham

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Various Essays and Articles, Jacques (located on website: www.csulb.edu/~djacques/)

All of Professor Jacques' essay assignments along with complete PowerPoint lecture presentations are located on the website. Make sure you have a fast connection to view the PowerPoint presentation.

Program Structure:

Week 1 – Stage Lighting Intro
The Profession of Lighting Design

Art and Lighting, Technology and Art

Theatre as a Social and Political Vehicle

Point of View

Week 2- Essentials of Lighting Design, Pgs. 166-178

Special Considerations in Lighting Design

Directors and Collaboration

The Influence of Light

Analysis for Lighting

Style in Lighting

Assignment: Read Of Mice and Men

Week 3- Basics of General Illumination, Pgs. 179-188


Additional Preparation

Developing Lighting Schemes and Concepts

Lighting Keys

Communicating Design Ideas – Storyboards

Assignment: Mice and Men Approach

Week 4 – Basics of General Illumination – Pgs. 189-201

Lighting the Subject

Lighting Positions

Groundplans and Sections

Primary Formula Approaches for Area Lighting

Alternative Systems for Area Lighting

Assignment: Study Of Mice and Men Groundplans and Sections (WYSIWYG)

Week 5 –WYSIWYG Tutorial
Project: WYSIWYG Project: Front, Sidelight, Backlight

Week 6 – Building on General Lighting, Pgs 202-212

Special Areas

Sculpting and Modeling Accents

Blending and Toning Accents

Motivational Accents

Additional Lighting Demands

Special Visibility

Lighting for Costumes

Lighting for Scenery

Lighting for Projections

Effects Lighting

Assignment: Mice and Men Areas and Motivational Keys

Week 7 - Plotting the Design – Pgs 212-226

Translating Concepts and Lighting Keys Into Practical Design Choices

Groundplans and Sections

Assignment: Mice and Men Magic Sheets and Design Outlines

Prof. Jacques Website: Music and Rhythmic Structure of Lighting Design, Transitions - Moments in Time and Cueing - Painting Creating and Adjusting at the Table

Week 8 – Drafting the Plot and Section – PGs. 226- 231

Drafting Light Plots - WYSIWYG

Drafting the Section - WYSIWYG

Working Sections - WYSIWYG

Elevations - WYSIWYG

Week 9 – Master Teacher Project

Week 10 – Master Teacher Project

Week 11 - Master Teacher Project

Week 12 - Paperwork – Pgs 231-239


Instrument Schedule

Magic Sheets

Shop Orders

Lab Assignment: Lightwright Tutorial

Week 13 – Moving Into the Theatre – Pgs. 240-261

Preparations for Load-in

The Cue Synopsis

The Load-In

The Focus Call

Level Setting

Cueing Aids


Lab Assignment: Mice and Men, Rough Plot and Storyboards

Week 14 – Variations on Essential Theatrical Design, Pgs. 262-280

Thrust and Arena

Outdoor Theatre and Festivals

Transfer Productions

Repertory Productions

Designing for Specific Genre

Lab Assignment: Mice and Men, Storyboards

Week 15 – Traditional Areas of Theatrical Design, Pgs. 282-300

Lighting for Drama

Dance Lighting

Opera Lighting

Musical Theatre Lighting

Lab Assignment: Mice and Men Storyboards and Plot

Week 16 – Final Mice and Men Projects Due