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Topic: Need Basic Lighting Advice for Church Program
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Sep 17, 2008 04:16PM)
Okay, so this is only tangentially related to magic, but it does involve performing, and I need some advice.

Every couple of years our choir at church presents its Christmas music as a dinner theater production and this is the year. It will be in our fellowship hall, a typical 80s-era long and wide design with a twelve-foot ceiling, a two-foot-high stage with an eight-foot-high proscenium opening, and a "typical" traveler-type house curtain. There is not a lot of space in the wings.

The choir, which consists of between eighty and a hundred members, stands on the apron and on steps or risers in front of the stage for the choral sections. In between, there is an ongoing play/drama on the stage, with sets.

The existing available lighting consists of about ten fresnels without barn doors hung from a pipe in front of the stage. The overhead lighting consists of scoops and "strips" of fixtures, with gels, above the stage. I don't know that the gels have been selected purposefully, or if they are just random. The lighting is non-DMX and controlled by a homemade dimmer board. It is also very bright, VERY HOT, unnatural and hard on the eyes which presents some obvious problems for the diners/audience sitting close to the stage. Singe there are no barn doors, the light from the fresnels goes everywhere. We also can't use a follow spot because of the possibility of people standing and walking in front of it during the performance.

This year we will be able to invest in some new lighting, but the budget isn't huge. What I would like is some basic advice or references on how to best light the drama, as well as advice and tips on more evenly lighting the choir in front to reduce the "hot spots" in the center and the shadows on the edges.

Message: Posted by: MAGICofSeth (Sep 18, 2008 06:22PM)

My advice is to use LED Stage Wash units to "reduce hot spots in the center and shadow on the edges"

"No Pink" Gels can be used on the Ellipsoidals to calm down the "unnatural" look of their light.

I can give more detailed advice if you like. See what others have to say on the topic too. Technical Directors are like doctors- ask 10 the same question and get 10 different (although usually kind of correct) answers. :)