The Shadow Box (2008), Austin, TX, Lighting Design: Lih-Hwa Yu


A piece of software that's extremely valuable and needed for lighting and set designers, if they intend to work professionally, is a program called Vectorworks.  

Vectorworks is essentially a 2D and 3D design program used for drafting, technical drawing and modeling, and is used throughout the professional world of theatre.  It's used frequently in colleges with more prestigious theatre departments, and has separate VectorWorks programs for each element of design.  

For set design, you'll want to use Vectorworks Designer, and you'll want to use Vectorworks Spotlight for lighting design.  The programs themselves are pretty pricey, but as standards in the professional world they're worth it.  As usual of these kinds of programs, the Vectorworks' website offers a free trial download of the software so you'll definitely want to take a look (as well as talk to a few designers that use the software) before purchasing!

Source Four:​  ​a lamp that is an  ellipsoidal reflector spotlight (ERS)  (or shines an oval reflective light), most common type of lamp for theatres. 

The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (2010), Austin, TX, Design: Lih-Hwa Yu​


- Lighting Design is the use of light, color, texture, shape and position to convey certain information to the audience, as well as to light the actors on the stage itself.  They convey information to the audience because the lighting itself implies the time of day, the location, the mood of the scene, and sometimes location.


****Note:  these are basic types of lighting fixtures and if you are interested in lighting, there are more specific fixtures to complete your specific design.

Fresnel: a lantern that uses a Fresnel lens to wash a light over an area of the stage, which causes a soft-edge beam of light, primarily used for back light and top light. 

Lighting Design

Parabolic Aluminized Reflector lights: or PAR lights , are used when a substantial amount of flat light is needed, and are best to use outdoors. 


​Gobo is a stencil or template that lighting designers use to control the shape of the light when placed in front of a light source. Gobos are simple and easy to make, but the stronger the material to make the Gobo, the longer it will last! Check out this tutorial for How to Make a Gobo!