A live theater production can only be successful if all of the elements are right. The actors must recite their lines correctly, the costumes must be appropriate, and the stage has to be set up properly. The theatrical lighting technician uses their advanced knowledge of stage lighting to help create the right onstage atmosphere for the play. The theatrical lighting technician is responsible for both installing the lighting and operating it during a production, waiting for the right cues to execute the necessary lighting effect.
The theatrical lighting technician works closely with other members of the production crew in order to synchronize their efforts properly. As such, the technician is required to have an understanding of the script as deep as any of the actors, as well as the creative aptitude to know what sort of lighting looks right for a particular scene. It is also necessary for the technician to know how to operate a wide variety of lighting rigs and other electrical equipment, as well as the control panel which makes it all function. The technician must be comfortable working in high places and be able to do so safely.
Employers looking for theatrical lighting technicians typically do not have specific educational requirements in mind. However, there are stage production educational courses, and a prospective applicant who has that education will likely be favored. Stage experience is vastly preferred though. It is important for the theatrical lighting technician to know not just how to assemble and operate a lighting apparatus, but also have adequate safety training.
Theatrical Lighting Technician Tasks
Ensure all lighting services are executed in a safe, appropriate, and timely manner.
Program and operate digital light boards and spotlights during productions.
Maintain a variety of lighting instruments.
Consult with event coordinators to determine the correct lighting designs for each event.