1. Who is Ismahadie and what does he do at the Esplanade?
2. What were some of Ismahadie’s misconception about someone working in Lighting Design?
3. According to Ismahadie, what were the two aspects of lighting and how did he feel about it?
4. What kind of shows or performances did Ismahadie highlight that lighting is able to enhance, and what were some of the effects of lighting?
5. What were some of the things that Ismahadie mentioned that contributed to the meaningfulness of his job as a Technical Manager at Esplanade, one that is ‘behind-the-scenes’?
6. What were some of Ismahadie’s advice to a young person pursuing a career like his?
Download and refer to Handout 3: Educator's Notes on Elements of Lighting Design for suggested answers.
Distribute Handout 1: Quiz on Elements of Lighting Design. Instruct students to complete the quiz only after completing Activities 2 and 3.
Building a Theatre Stage
1. Fold two sheets of the black construction paper in half; Stand them up like a “greeting card’ to create theatre walls. Use another sheet as a theatre floor. There should be a completely black space for students to experiment with various lighting options.
2. Arrange the stationery items on the theatre stage.
3. Turn off the classroom lights.
4. Using the torchlight, ‘light’ the items on the stage. Explore the following:
5. Arrange the stationery items on the theatre stage.
1. Use plastic toys to relate the use of lights to the scale of the performer
Explore the potential and possibility of light as an element of design. This activity allows students to explore lighting in its bare form, in isolation, by using a single (and multiple) light source(s), neutral paper and neutral items. Teachers may also guide the discussion further, putting light in context with the actor, line, scale, color and texture. Allow students to experiment and discover on their own by reconfiguring the items and try new angles.
2. Further exploration of the role of light in visual storytelling
The exercise can be elaborated with multiple flashlights, different type bulbs (incandescent, tungsten vs. LED), gel colour pieces, a larger model of the “theatre” space, more elaborate sets/items used, more time to create an environment, introduction of color and texture, etc. This will further illustrate the skill and considered nuances it takes to truly recreate a specific look on stage.
Distribute Handout 2: Facial Lighting. In this task, students should aim to fully harness the ability of light to illuminate the actors (especially the facials on stage). Refer students to Handout 2. Using the facial template provided in Handout 2, suggest how light and shadows can create various facial effects.
Shade the effect on the face if there is/are...
Refer to Handout 2: Body Figure Lighting. In this task, students should also be able to imagine the effects of light in casting shadows of the human body in a performance space. Using the template in Handout 2, explore the effects of light when placed and coming from different parts of the stage. Students may shade the shadow on the stage floor.
Below is a diagrammatic suggestion of directions of where the lighting source can be placed. Teachers and students may feel free to experiment or introduce new directions.
Khairul Nizam is a theatre and drama educator in Singapore. He has shared his teaching practices through conferences, open classrooms, and on international sharing panels. He is currently serving as the Vice-President of Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA).