Performance Lighting

Course Details

Course Number: 3473  Section Number: 201

Spring 2014

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: B120

Days & Times:

TR 9:30-10:50

Course Attachments

Syllabus, Performance Lighting  Performance Lighting Syllabus - Spring 2014-20140131-155912.pdf


Scene Design & Stage Lighting - Parker, Wolf
MSU Faculty Member
Walter F. Wojciechowski   
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Course Objectives

Course Description

THEA 3473 is really an extension of the materials covered in 1513.  THEA 1513 is a nuts-and-bolts course that introduces you to the basic tools and vocabulary of  Stage Lighting.  In this course we will concentrate on the lighting design process and its results.  This is a learn-through-doing course.  There will be some lecture, but mostly we will establish the link between the designer and his tools through a series of hands-on experiments and projects.  Each is designed to give you practical applications of the materials covered in the lectures/text. 

THEA 115 isn’t a prerequisite for this course. If you have enrolled in this course without having taken it, it is up to you to do the supplemental reading.  We will also be briefly reviewing some of the material in this class.


Course Goals

Through a series of exercises we will investigate the relationships of color, texture, line, composition, etc. to a lighting design and how that design relates to the script and ultimately the production.  At the same time we will explore in depth the process of taking a lighting design from conception to production.

We will investigate the characteristics of different lighting instruments, the uses of different lighting positions, the various mediums of color and their effects on a production.  This will be accomplished through a series of smaller projects and work our way up to a fully drafted light plot.  Further as part of the design process we will look at how the designer communicates the choices they've made to the other members of the production team.

By the end of this course:

  • You should know the names and uses of the common lighting instruments.
  • The types of lamps and how to replace them.
  • Hanging positions for instruments.
  • How to use lighting control equipment and color filters.
  • How to field trouble shoot instruments and dimmers.
  • The three controllable properties of light.
  • How to draw and read a light plot.
  • The history and mechanics of dimmers.
  • Ohms law, the WVA formula, Series & Parallel Circuits and basic electrical mechanics.

Course Expectations

Crew Work:

As part of the hands-on learning process you are required to be on the hang/focus crew for God Of Carnage or one of the one acts.  You will be expected to contribute at least 48 hours over the term working on crews or designing.  You will be graded on your attitude, reliability and application of knowledge.



You are required to attend the above production and write a short paper about God of Carnage  from your observations.  The paper is due the Tuesday after it’s run.  So mark your calendars now for those opening dates.  Specific requirements and topics for the paper will follow as the term progresses.  The paper must be typed and 4-5 pages in length.  Late papers will be docked a full grade for each day they are late.  Late papers will only be accepted with the prior permission of the instructor.  Grammer, spelling, and use of terminology will count in the grading.

Assignments and Papers will not be accepted if emailed.


Projects / Assignments:

Specific details will be handed out later.  The projects/assignments will vary in complexity.  Each one is geared towards a particular aspect of the design process.  It is important that they are completed on time and in order.

Late projects/assignments will result in a reduction of one letter grade for each day they are late.  The projects are not the kind of thing you can knock off by doing an all-nighter.  They must be carefully thought through and executed.  It will show if they were rushed and your resulting grade will reflect it.  You will average about one assignment/project per week.  The final project will be due during the normal exam period.

Please be assured that this is not an art or drawing skill class.  I am more interested in your concept and the process you used to achieve it than your abilities to produce perfect looking works of art.

The use of CADD programs will not be allowed on the projects unless you have taken the Cadd course and get my prior permission on a per-project-basis.

Grading Standards


            Projects /Assignments *                       70%

            Critique/Papers                                    10%          

            Crew Work/                             10%

            Class Participation                   10%


* Part of the grading criteria for all projects/assignments is the degree of completion, neatness, clarity of intent and presentation style.  Misuse of Grammar, Spelling and terminology will also affect your grade.


More about Grading

  • In the professional world, if you can’t show up on time and make your deadlines, you won’t keep your job. Assignments must be completed on time in the format specified.
  • Reading assignments are to be completed by the day they are assigned.
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date.
  • Each page of each assignment must be clearly labeled with your name, the assignment, the date, the page number and the total number of pages.
  • Spelling and grammar count. Grades will be reduced for spelling and grammar errors.
  • Lectures and class activities are intended to complement (not duplicate) text information.
  • Course quizzes/exercises and exams rely heavily on the text.
  • You are responsible for keeping all handouts and graded assignment sheets..
  • You must complete all assigned projects in order to pass the course.  I will not accept assignments/projects sent via email!!

Final Exam5/6/2014  8:00-10:00

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Required ViewingGod of Carnage, Feb. 19-23.


Attendance and participation are critical to your success. You are expected to arrive on time, be prepared, actively participate, and stay for the full class period. If you miss class, you miss the chance to participate in your education and the education of others in class. Attendance in class is expected. You will be docked one letter grade after three (3) unexcused absences.  A further letter grade reduction will be added for an additional three (3) absences. On the 7th you will be dropped with a grade of ‘F.

The acceptable excuses are: the death of a family member, personal illness, required attendance at an official school function, and verifiable emergency. You must notify me before you miss a class, except when an emergency happens on the way to class. If an emergency happens on the way to class, you must notify me on the same day. If I cannot be reached, leave me an email.

If you fail to notify me before missing a class you will receive a zero for work due and/or performed during that class unless it is a verifiable emergency.

Your illness must be serious to be excused. Thus, you must see a medical practitioner and get a signed note on official stationary from your doctor or the student health clinic.

For an official school function, you must present a signed note before missing class. The note must be on official school stationary, and it must be signed by the appropriate university official. If you do not have a signed note on official school stationary, you will receive a zero for the work due or that you missed.

For a death in the family, you must notify the instructor before missing class. When you return, you must give the instructor a copy of the program for the funeral. If you do not have a copy of the program, you will receive a zero for the work due or that you missed.

If you have an emergency, you must provide documentation to me, such as an accident report or towing bill. If you do not have documentation, you will receive a zero for the work due or that you missed.

When you have an acceptable excuse, you are responsible for finding out what you missed and arranging to make it up with the instructor. Missed work must be made up within one week of when your return to class, or you will receive a zero.

If you are habitually late or leave early, your final grade may be lowered by 1/3 letter grade for each instance beyond three absences.

Other Policies
  • Recommended Materials:

                Drafting Paper:  18x24 - Vellum                                              White" Pencil eraser & Erasing shield

                Drafting Pencils - H, HB, 3H                                       45', 90' Triangles

                12" Architects Scale Rule                                            Tracing Paper

    Lighting Symbol Template - 1/4" Plan View                Other Misc. Drafting/Art Supplies

    Color Filter Swatch Book - Rosco

  • No cell phones, headphones, music, computer games, nor texting/IMing/e-mail/camera devices of any description are to be used during class: ZERO TOLERANCE. This means all aforementioned devices (and presently unknown versions of such) are to be turned off and out of your sight and mine.  This policy is based on my view that these things are distracting, hence counterproductive to the learning goals in this course.  Violation of this policy will be considered a conduct issue and an extremely bad plan. If your phone rings during class I reserve the right to answer it. If you feel compelled to send a text during class, I reserve the right to complete the text before sending it. Students are expected to adhere to the Standards of Conduct as published in the Student Handbook. Students should refer to the current MSU student handbook and activities calendar for University policies and Student Honor Creed on academic dishonesty, class attendance, student’s rights, and activities.
    1. The main statement from the MSU Student Honor Creed should be a guiding principal for you: “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”
    2. I reserve the right to drop any student with an F if he/she engages in any form of academic dishonesty.  I further reserve the right to recommend other sanctions as may be appropriate.  Students are also encouraged to consult the following sources for additional discussion of students’ rights and responsibilities regarding cheating, attendance and general conduct:
      1. The MSU Student Honor Creed
      2. MSU Undergraduate Catalog
      3. MSU Student Handbook
    3. In addition, the university requires faculty to provide this statement to all students: “By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and educational purposes.”
  • On the Internet, plagiarism is especially easy. DO NOT give in to the temptation to copy-and-paste other people’s work! YOUR WORK MUST BE YOUR OWN. If you plagiarize as a professional and get found out, you will damage if not destroy your own reputation and do great harm to the reputation of any organization you work for. In this class, plagiarism will have dire consequences.


Federal privacy law prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student.  Thus, in almost all cases I will not discuss your academic progress or other matters with your parents.  Please do not have them call me.  Regardless of these important legal considerations, it is my general policy to communicate with the students, not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form.  College students are adults and are expected to behave accordingly.

Special Accommodations

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information that needs sharing, or if you need special accommodations in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.


Tentative Class Schedule – THEA 3473, Fall 2014


Date                Reading and/or Activity                                             Projects Due

Jan.         14           Intro & Controllable Properties of Light

                16           Types of Instruments

( Jan. 17 USITT-SW leave.  Return Jan. 20.)

                21           ( Dallas – TETA) (No Class ????)

                23           Parts of Instruments


                28                           “                                                                                              Project #1 Due

                30           Instrument Demo                Distro                                                    


Feb.        04           Color Filters                                                                                          Project #2 Due

                06           Discussion


                11           Color Demo                                                                                          Project #3 Due

                13           Drafting & Lighting Symbols


                18           Discussion                                                                                             Project #4 Due

                20           Dimming                                                                                                              


                25           Work in class (ACTF – Feb. 25-Mar. 1)                                                                         

                27           No Class ????


March    04           Work in class                                                                                        Mid-Term

                06           Discussion                                                                                             Project #5 Due


                11           Work in class                                                                                       

                13           Discussion                                                                                             Project #5A Due


                18           No Class – Spring Break

                20           No Class – Spring Break                                                                   


                25           Work in class                                                                                        Project #6 Due

                27           No Class  (USITT- Fort Worth March 26-30)


April       01           Work in class

                03           Discussion                                                                                             Project #6A Due

                                (One Acts #1 Apr 4-5)


                08           Discussion                                                                                             Project #7 Due

                10           Work in class

                                (One Acts #2, Apr. 11-12)


                15           Discussion                                                                                             Project #7A Due

                17           (No Class – Easter Break)


                22           Discussion                                                                                             Project #8 Due

                24           Work in Class                                                                                                      

(One Acts #3, Apr. 25-26)


                29           Work in class on Project #8

May       01                           “                                                                                              Project #8A Due  -Or-


                                 FINAL  EXAM Tuesday, May 6, 8-10 am                                    Project #8A Due

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.