Royal Central School Speech and Drama Presents: How do you learn to be a Performance Lighting Practitioner?

  • Room: Grand Ballroom A
Wednesday, March 14, 2018: 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM


Nick Moran
Lighting & Projection Designer, Author
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London


An in depth look at what students of performance lighting need to learn, when they need to learn it, and how best to enable that learning, with plenty of opportunity for audience participation: from lighting students, professionals and educators.

For many of us who find ourselves teaching lighting after years of professional practice, it can feel like we are continually being pulled in several directions at once. For example, do you teach what light does first or how to rig lights? Do you encourage meticulous pre-planning or a willingness to experiment in the technical rehearsal? And talking of experiment, what is the best balance between classroom teaching of founding principles, production work and practical classes? And should those practical classes be “teacher-led” to ensure certain learning outcomes or more open, encouraging students to experiment?

In a busy student timetable, how much time do we give to analysing text, building relationships with fellow creative team members and technical preparation? Come to that, how do we engage the more technically minded students with the text, and aesthetics? And the design focussed ones with practicalities, and safe practice? How much should LDs learn about programming? How much should master electricians lean about design?

More strategically, what happens after graduation? At what level should lighting graduates be prepared to enter the industry? How much weight should we give to the opinions of current practitioners and industry leaders, our colleagues in academia, and other design and production disciplines? To our students and recent graduates, and to the people who market our programmes?

Nick Moran has lead the education group in the UK’s Association of Lighting Design for over 10 years, and just completed revising his textbook Performance Lighting Design. His intention in this session is to lead a helpful and productive discussion that gives a voice to students. Teachers and industry professionals. Do bring your thoughts and opinions.