Stage Fixtures

Written by Beth Hrusch
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As any performer or director can tell you, stage fixtures are an integral part of a stage production. In fact, some people believe that good lighting design makes or breaks the play. Stage lighting creates the mood, defines the scenery and characters and establishes the tenor of the story. A large part of what the audience thinks it is seeing is due to the lighting effects, achieved with the use of sophisticated equipment designed especially for the stage.

The Types of Stage Fixtures

Most stage lights fall into two categories: spotlights and floodlights. Projectors and special effects equipment make up the rest of the field. Most fixtures mount to overhead pipes or floor stands and can be tilted and rotated in any direction. Spotlights provide a narrow beam of light and come with many lenses. They are used mainly to highlight localized areas, such as a character as he walks across the stage.

Floodlights distribute light over a wide area. They are used to illuminate backdrops and to provide general light on the stage. Stage fixtures with special effects capabilities contain color filters, flash effects and continuous dimmers that create atmosphere. Projectors cast images and light onto backdrops and can focus themselves. These fixtures work together to meet all stage lighting needs.

Drawing the audience into the story is one of the functions of today's stage fixtures. By creating mood and atmosphere and defining the characters, lighting helps the audience to understand the action and get involved in the plot. Advanced technology makes it possible to get special lighting effects when the story line calls for them. This enhances the production and makes viewing it a pleasure.

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