Musicals need drama lighting for dialogue plus colour for singing and dance. There are already a lot of lights and dimmer channels used to supply the drama lighting, so resources can be scarce when adding the colour for singing and dancing.  In a lighting design using conventional lights, the additional lights can be direct from the front for face light, direct from behind for back light and from either side for side lights. Cycloramas are important in musicals as they can quickly provide a mood or atmosphere, plus animation with chase effects. Foot lights can be useful for filling in faces under hats.

As a general starting point in developing a lighting design for a musical, listen to the music as it may suggest the mood or atmosphere that theatre  lighting can help achieve.

Consider having a different colour or lighting state for verse, chorus or bridge.

Page updated 7 October 2023