Created by Kerry Hishon
The exercises within this unit are meant for students to explore the concept of lighting for theatre without the need for extensive tech or even a theatrical lighting grid.
This unit is useful for students with no prior experience with lighting or students who may be intimidated by the idea of theatre technology.
Each exercise is meant to build upon the previous one, as students grow in their confidence with thinking about lighting in different ways.
National Core Arts Standards
Perceive and analyze artistic work - Grade 6
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 6
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 7
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Proficient
Perceive and analyze artistic work - Grade HS Proficient
Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Accomplished
Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6
Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 7
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade 7
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade HS Proficient
Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
California VAPA Standards (2019)
6.TH:Re7 Perceive and analyze artistic work.
6.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
7.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
Prof.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
Prof.TH:Re7 Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Acc.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
7.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
7.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Prof.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Florida Sunshine State Standards
Critical Thinking & Reflection
Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts
Grade 6 - Creating
TA6.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify artistic choices, utilize theatre vocabulary, and demonstrate non-verbal communication skills in the rehearsal process.
b. Interpret a character’s motivation by understanding the relationship between their background and their behavior.
c. Identify the variety of relationships between characters.
d. Identify, define, and classify character traits.
e. Recognize and demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and skills associated with collaborative performance.
f. Use resources to identify and create technical elements of theatre.
Grade 7 - Creating
TA7.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify and rehearse effective communication skills.
b. Compare and contrast character types and relationships by analyzing character motivations, objectives, and goals.
c. Compare the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a character.
d. Investigate the role and responsibility of the cast and crew.
e. Identify and model ensemble skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Utilize staging and blocking choices to enhance the performance.
g. Compare, contrast, and design elements of technical theatre.
h. Utilize theatre vocabulary throughout the rehearsal process.
Grade 7 - Performing
TA7.PR.2 - Execute artistic and technical elements of theatre.
a. Select a variety of technical elements that can be applied to a theatrical work.
b. Incorporate artistic and technical elements into a theatre performance.
Grade 8 - Creating
TA8.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Differentiate the physical, emotional, vocal, and social dimensions of a variety of characters.
b. Compare the relationships and interactions between characters by analyzing character motivation (objectives, obstacles, strategy, action, stakes, outcome).
c. Incorporate dramatic elements through improvisation.
d. Connect theatre vocabulary to the application of theatre performance.
e. Identify and demonstrate both ensemble and leadership skills in the rehearsal process.
f. Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic and technical elements used in a theatre production.
g. Design and create scenery, props, costumes, lighting, and sound.
h. Assume different roles and responsibilities in the rehearsal process.
Grade 8 - Performing
Grades 9-12 - FUNDAMENTALS OF THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Performing
TAHSFT.PR.2 - Execute artistic and technical elements of theatre.
a. Identify and define the various collaborative roles and relationships of technical production personnel (e.g. sound, lighting, set, scenic, costume, dramaturge, makeup, marketing, business aspects) in relation to the directors and performers.
b. Identify and apply the various aspects of directing, staging, performance spaces, and rehearsal management.
c. Recognize and apply the basic elements and procedures involved in the construction of props, scenery, and platforms.
d. Formulate effective theatrical designs in order to support the text and directorial concept.
Grades 9-12 - TECHNICAL THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Creating
TAHSTT.CR.1 - Create technical elements of theatre (e.g. sets, props, costumes, makeup, lighting, sound).
a. Explore and utilize the elements of design and principles of composition for a theatrical context.
b. Create basic to advanced technical elements by choosing appropriate materials, tools, and techniques.
c. Analyze and/or develop choices in technical elements (e.g. sets, lights, costumes, sound) of informal and formal productions and theatrical texts as a part of the design process, considering mood, tone, and symbolism.
d. Create industry standard paperwork (e.g. budgets, cut lists, materials, cue sheets, lighting and costume plots, schedules, calendars) as it relates to completing design renderings and/or models.
e. Conceptualize and/or generate design elements for a dramatic work (e.g. scene, one act, full-length, musical).
Grades 9-12 - TECHNICAL THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Producing
TAHSTT.PR.1 - Produce technical elements in theatre.
a. Identify, explain, and demonstrate standard safety guidelines and operating procedures for tools and equipment used in formal and informal theatre productions.
b. Identify and interpret design and construction documentation, materials, techniques, and procedures for production.
c. Differentiate between stock and non-standard material, scenic, or technical elements related to a production.
d. Conduct initial research about design to inform further development of the production concept.
e. Explore and/or produce an appropriate series of design documentation for a theatrical production (e.g. thumbnail sketches, swatches, first renderings, mixed media presentation).
Grades 9-12 - TECHNICAL THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Responding
TAHSTT.RE.1 - Respond to technical elements of theatre using appropriate supporting evidence.
a. Revise projects, plans, and/or procedures after peer criticism to improve development of technical elements.
b. Identify and analyze the characteristics of different types of performance spaces and how they can influence production decisions (e.g. proscenium stage, studio/black box, thrust stage, classroom, arena, found space).
c. Evaluate design choices of professional designers.
d. Evaluate design and technical elements in a post mortem following the completion of a theatre production.
Grades 9-12 - TECHNICAL THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Connecting
TAHSTT.CN.1 - Connect technical elements of theatre.
a. Explore and understand the collaborations between designers and directors to develop design elements.
b. Investigate the history of theatre architecture, stage technology, and other technical elements.
c. Understand technical theatre career options and various industry unions (e.g. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Actor’s Equity, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, League of Resident Theatres).
d. Explore connections with other disciplines associated with technical theatre (e.g. scientific principles behind technical theatrical practices, physics of electricity and sound, basic structural engineering, load ratings, working load limits).
e. Connect design themes with historical and social relevance using dramaturgical research and an understanding of historical and cultural artistic movements (e.g. expressionism, realism, Kabuki, Sanskrit Drama).
North Carolina Essential Standards
Beginning High School Standards - Aesthetics
Intermediate High School Standards - Aesthetics
Proficient High School Standards - Aesthetics
Advanced High School Standards - Aesthetics
Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards
Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)
Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts
MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.212 LII - Creative Expression: production
MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.213 LIII - Creative Expression: production
HS 117.315 LI - Creative Expression: production
C.3.D - demonstrate responsibility, artistic discipline, and creative problem solving by concentrating in one or more areas of theatre production such as acting, technical theatre, or theatre management.
HS 117.316 LII - Creative Expression: production
Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Lighting
Junior Goal I Objectives
Technical Theatre - Levels I, II, III - Awareness
Technical Theatre - Levels I, II, III - Readiness
Technical Theatre - Application
Senior Goal I Objectives
Orientation Drama 10
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Responsible Practices
C.3.2 - identify and apply the skills and attitudes needed to perform various tasks and responsibilities in producing drama works (e.g., use active listening and cooperative problem-solving skills; practise punctuality; use tact in suggesting changes and improvements; demonstrate willingness to accept criticism and build consensus)
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Concepts and Terminology
C.1.3 - demonstrate an understanding of production roles, practices, and terminology when planning and presenting drama works (e.g., set design, costume design, lighting plot, light cue sheet, sound cue sheet, prompt book, set sketch, set model)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - Presentation Techniques & Technologies