Theatre Lighting Design Process

If you have always been curious about how theatre lighting designers process their design ideas or communicate with their collaborators, this two-day workshop will provide an insight to that creative journey.

Photo credit: Crispian Chan

Course Run: 19 & 20 Dec 2023

(Closing date for registration: 21 Nov 2023)


Time: 9am – 6pm

Venue: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Theatre Studio

Course Fees - Before GST: $300.00
Course Fees - After GST: $324.00



This programme under Esplanade Academy, is eligible for course fee subsidy and training allowance, supported by NAC.


Individuals: 70% course fee subsidy
Individuals (Self-Employed Person)*: 90% course fee subsidy and training allowance of $10 per hour
Organisations (Non-Profit or Collective): 70% course fee subsidy
Organisations (For Profits): 50% course fee course fee subsidy


*Individuals engaged for work under a contract for service (full-time employee contract) will be eligible for 70% course fee subsidy only. Proof of self-employed status required: Copy of latest CPF Statement or Consolidated Statement of Income for Year of Assessment 2022 submitted to IRAS or (if applicable, for Sole Proprietor only) Copy of ACRA registration.


To apply for course fee subsidy, you must:

1. Register for the course

2. Download the Course Fee Subsidy and Training Allowance Form

3. Email the completed form to

This design exploratory workshop will provide a broad introduction to lighting for dance, plays and musicals. Technical theatre practitioners, designers and collaborators, whose works involve lighting in the theatre, are invited to explore the development of lighting equipment, advanced design understanding and refine their technical knowledge. The objective of this workshop is to discuss collective collaboration, raise the appreciation for lighting design in theatre and explore how design elements continue to play an integral role, influencing the psychology of the audience and elevating production values.



Day One:

  • Lighting language and communication in the theatre

  • Outline for play-script analysis and the light list

  • Colour theory and theatre light sources in the last 20 years

  • Lighting systems, angles and popular lighting design formulas

  • Choreography + Technology + Story Journey


Day Two:

  • Pop Culture: key lighting, motivated light and motivating light

  • Picturisation: translation of image from visual media

  • Musicals 1001: rhythm, tempo, moment and beats

  • Collaboration & Design Process: discussion forum with Stage Manager & Design Collaborator

  • Closing reflections and Open Discussion with Q&A


We express our heartfelt thanks to Electronic Theatre Controls Asia, Ltd and StageEquip Pte. Ltd for the loan of equipment for this workshop.


About the facilitator

James Tan was conferred The Young Artist Award and awarded the Arts Professional Scholarship by The National Arts Council of Singapore. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from the University of California, San Diego.


James is an Associate Artist with Pangdemonium Theatre Company and runs the season-long Lighting Design Technical Apprenticeship with the company. He is also a Lighting Design Adjunct Lecturer with University of the Arts, London (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) & Republic Polytechnic. He is a returning mentor for the ETC Fred Foster Student Mentorship Program (International) 2022/2023.


Guest Speakers:

Carolene Liew, Stage Manager

Carolene is part of The Backstage Affair, a backstage management company that believes in shaping the future of backstage practitioners and aims to bridge the gap between education and vocation in this realm of the arts and entertainment industry. She has worked with many international companies, including The Welsh National Opera, National Theatre of Wales, Pangdemonium! Theatre Company Ltd, Singapore Repertory Theatre, The Theatre Practice, NADI Singapura Ltd, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Drama Box Ltd, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.


She holds a BA(Hons) in Stage Management from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and was appointed an Honorary Associate of the college in July 2020. She is a recipient of the National Arts Council Overseas Scholarship and the Lee Foundation Bursary.


Genevieve Peck, Multimedia/Lighting Designer

Genevieve graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London with a BA(Hons) in Theatre Practice, specialising in Lighting and Projection/Video Design. She has worked with theatre companies including Drama Box, Nine Years Theatre, Pangdemonium, Singapore Repertory Theatre, The Theatre Practice and Wild Rice.


Who should attend?

This workshop is open to all technical theatre practitioners, designers and collaborators (including but not limited to actors, directors, choreographers, producers, lighting managers/programmers and theatre technicians).


Do consider signing up if you have always been interested and curious about the theatre lighting design process. A selection process may be involved for this run as seats are very limited.

Still have more questions?

You can contact: