We use the McCandless method for drama lighting as it provides the most flexible use suitable for most production.

The McCandless method of lighting design for drama, uses two key lights from the front for each stage area, each light positioned 45 degrees to the side of the stage position and positioned at a 45 degrees above the stage position. This allows a natural light that does not wash out the face, so there are interesting natural shadows to be seen as the actor moves around the stage area. The lights can have a warm and a cool colour gel fitted to allow for time of day to be conveyed to the audience, as well as recreating the colours of natural and reflected light.
A back light is positioned about 60 degrees behind the centre of each stage position to provide a three dimensional feel to the actor. It is important that the back light has barn doors to prevent any direct light shining into the audiences eyes. Although very little light is reflected from the actors body towards the audience, when viewed on a stage you can see the beneficial effect back light can have.

We demonstrate key lights, backlight, cyclorama light, gobo and effects lighting, footlights.

Drama lighting can be used to:
Light the actor
Reveal the actor
Hide the actor
Highlight the actor
Provide a location
Provide a time of day or a time in history

page updated 7 October 2023