Now Available in the Archive
Wonderful Town (1953) Peggy Clark
The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui (1995) Steffen Heinke, Jens Richter, Mario Seeger
Blitz! (1961) Brand (1959) Richard Pilbrow

Welcome to the Lighting Archive

The Lighting Archive is proud to announce our latest.

We are very proud to be able to present 2 early light plots by Richard Pilbrow.
Donald Holder, The Lion King, the original show papers with big thanks to Don and the Disney Organization.
Kenton Yeager has given us a Regional theatre production of Sweeney Todd from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

We are expanding our collection by presenting international productions. In addition to Richard Pilbrow's early plots, we are presenting the paperwork of a number of German Theatres and Opera houses that do "Rolling Rep" ie. a different show every night of the week. (see Support Materials section for an explanation of the different Genres of Stage Lighting). The Semperoper of Dresden has given us the documents of very interesting productions of La Traviata, La Boheme and L'Elisir D'Amour. The Berliner Ensemble has given us several theatre productions.

Coming soon: audio: Tom Skelton teaching class.
video: Bill Brigham of the Brigham Gelatine Company explaining how they used to make their color media...gel colors


Modern theatrical lighting is a unique art form, whose history until now has been exceedingly difficult to study due to limited access to original lighting documents. The Lighting Archive website is developing a collection of actual plots, focus charts, cue sheets and other documents from real shows. We will place an emphasis on historical productions and designers who have made important contributions to our field.

These documents make evident the aesthetic development of the art form. The styles of the theatrical visual are affected not only by the personalities of the lighting designers but very importantly by the interplay between what equipment was being manufactured and how the designers were inspired to use it. Another major force affecting the aesthetics and the equipment is the extreme time and reliability pressures that operate in the economics of the theatre world. How has the development of the next big thing computer consoles, color changers, scrollers, LEDs, moving lights changed and enriched the visual possibilities? By a close examination of these documents, students and scholars can now witness the development of Lighting Design as it has made a greater and greater contribution to the theatrical experience.

To aid them we have created an Interactive segment of the website. Using Ken Billington's Sweeney Todd Broadway as the example follow the map pins in this segment to trace information about each unit as it appears in every document for this production. Lighting Design is sufficiently complicated: no one document contains all the information about a given lighting unit and how it is used in a given production. The pre-production paper work includes plot, section, hookup and shop order. The results of the work in the theatre are documented in the magic sheet, focus charts and cue sheets. See Eric Cornwell's Explanation of the Documents in the Support Materials section of this site.