Most books about stage lighting tend to concentrate on the factual aspects of equipment and the design process. But the rather clinical facts of technology need some fleshing out. Theatre is essentially a people industry. Who are these lighting designers? What makes them tick? Where do they slot into the creative team? What are their priorities? How do they learn to light? What are the fears, agonies and ecstasies of this little corner of the theatre industry?
This revised edition of Francis Reid's book, first published by Focal Press in 1995, discusses the human relationships involved in lighting design – both between people, and between these people and technology. Lighting design is low on objective facts and high on debatable opinions, says the author. Much of the lighting designer's thinking tends to be lateral – intuitive rather than logical. So, inevitably, the book is written from a highly personal viewpoint. Its 'thinking aloud' approach is one Francis Reid has used in his magazine writings over the past 30 years and readers may recognise some re-working of earlier attempts to explain the mysteries of lighting design.
Written in an easy, informal style, Lighting the Stage draws on the author's many years experience as a world renowned lighting designer and teacher to pass on tips and pointers which will interest and stimulate all those concerned with using designed light on stage. Since the book includes discussion on many aspects of lighting which are matters of opinion rather than fact, it will provide lecturers with a valuable source of ideas for essay assignments and research projects.