Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Eliminating any consideration of setting, the story of the evolution of lighting is an absorbing commentary upon the history of the theatre and necessary to the full integration of its use as an instrument in the modern theatre. An understanding of the history of the development of stage lighting is as necessary a foundation to the creative and imaginative use of light in the theatre as the foundation of a building is necessary to the support of a tower. History probides the signpost showing the directions to be taken in experimentation and a standard for evaluation of such experimentation. The responsibility of the director and designer to understand and appreciate the uses to which the lighting instrument may be but has increased in rationte the progress made in the efficiency and flexibility of stage lighting from mid-sixteenth century up to the present. A director who regards lighting as mere illusination antedates De Somi in his philosophy. The stage manager who lacts an understanding of his basic units ofmodern lighting and their antecedents is seriously handicapped. With an understanding of the development of the lightng instrument and its effect upon the physical theatre, the imagination is liberated and the basis for new techniques is laid.