Lighting Workshop – August 13-14, 2018

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TCS Lighting Workshop

Have you ever wanted to learn about lighting a production? Wondered how all the equipment is connected? How to program a light board? Then this two day workshop is for you!

Join us to learn how to Unlock the Mystery of Theater Lighting, conducted by Larry Segel, the resident TCS lighting designer. This workshop will be offered in two parts, Monday, August 13 and Tuesday, August 14 starting at 7:00PM.

Monday, August 13 will be a workshop session to learn how to hang and connect lights in our performance space.

Tuesday, August 14 will focus on lighting a show, using the light board, and what you need to know lighting a production at the Legion.

The Details:

MONDAY, AUGUST 13 – This will be a FREE volunteer workshop session to hang the lights for the Summer Youth Theatre Workshop show, Getting to Know…Once Upon a Mattress, which has performances on August 17 & 18.  You will also learn the art of running wires along the ceiling of our performance space.  This will take 2-3 hours.  You should not be afraid to climb and work on a ladder.

Here are some needed tools that you could bring to the light hanging session, if you have them:

  • Sweat band for your head
  • Small screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Scissors
  • Gloves
  • Wear close-toed shoes

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 – In this workshop session we unlock the mystery of how theater lighting works – specifically, how we do it at Theatre Company of Saugus and our unique space. This is an essential, practical, how-to introduction for prospective lighting designers and control board operators, as well as for stage managers and directors. Lighting a show involves a interesting mixture of artistic, technical, and logistical tasks and skills, so this workshop will be of interest to actors, as well as people who like to solve puzzles, or those who like to plug things in and flip switches.  This workshop is recommended for anyone who would like to work on the lighting for the fall TCS show Lizzie.

Here is a very general list of topics that could be covered, depending on the interests and experience of those attending:

  • How to run a show using the control board.
  • How to notate the script and read it while running a show.
  • Before and after the performance:  What to plug in and switch on.
  • How to read (and draw) the “Magic” diagram showing what the lighting instruments do.
  • How to program the cues for a show on the control board.
  • How to hang, wire, and focus the lighting instruments at the Saugus American Legion.
  • How to operate the dimmers and connect them to the control board.
  • How to patch, and what that means.
  • How to use gels to provide color.
  • What’s in the lighting equipment bins?
  • How to use the LED instrument that does special effects.
  • Covering the windows.
  • What is the lighting designer’s job?  What tasks does the designer do?
  • How to fit lighting into the rehearsal schedule, and what happens at tech rehearsals.
  • How to work with our constraints:  a limited number of channels and instruments.
  • What you need to know about electricity, wattage, circuit breakers.
  • How lighting worked in the old days before computerized control boards.

What do you need to bring to Tuesday’s workshop?  Something to take notes with.  Some handouts will be provided.

The workshop will run for two and a half hours.


The location for both workshops is the Theatre Company of Saugus performance space at the American Legion Post 210  /  44 Taylor Street  /  Saugus, MA  01906.


All are welcome! If you are interested in participating, please email to let us know so we can have enough handouts ready. BUT if you can’t RSVP in advance, don’t let that stop you from showing up for either Monday and/or Tuesday.


There is a nominal per person $5 fee for the Tuesday workshop and the Monday evening one will be FREE. The $5 fee is payable with cash or check at the door on Tuesday evening.