Essay on Drama: Lighting

Submitted By Gracie96
Words: 782
Pages: 4

Lighting can be used to control mood and atmosphere as well as suggest location and time. I have been chosen in the non- acting role of lighting in the production of Death Of A Salesman a representational play set in the late 1940s. As part of the lighting team, I would aim to highlight Will’s declining mental health through the use of lighting creating contrast between natural lighting and the harsh unnatural lighting, that I would characterize with his flashbacks. Lighting is an extremely versatile tool that plays a key part in transporting the audience into the scene and making them fully immersed in what is going on.

In scenes set in the present I would use a dim yellow lighting which in moments of tension, such as when Linda is telling Biff that she suspects that Willy is attempting to commit suicide. By having the edges of the stage in complete darkness, I would be able to foreshadow Willy’s demise as well as add a secretive mood to the scene. The light would be the darkest near the black outer edges of the stage brightening to one almost over exposed spot of the rubber hose. Almost showing the rubber hose to be incriminating evidence. Its, so bright because its revelation is something that greatly affects the family, particularly his wife Linda because she try’s to let herself be fooled by his façade.

This is contrasted with some of Willy’s flashbacks, such as the one between Biff and Willy after he can come back from a trip. I would choose to use overly bright light, unfiltered so that it brightens up the actors costumes as well. By having this as part of the lighting team I would be able to push the happy-go-lucky Americana feel. This seemingly happy scene, would have a fake quality to it. The setting is filled with primary, basic colours. This scene presents the ideal that at the time, many Americans were inspiring to a dream for many which apparently seems to be achieved by Willy. As Willy is telling his wife Linda the truth about his trip, I would filter the light so that it appears to be a dull, melancholy blue. I would employ the use of backlighting hence placing emphasis on the dust on his clothes and the roughness of his jacket. This would be to show that he is unlike what he appears and under his polished exterior is a roughened interior, the lack of lighting on his face presents the idea that he is one of many; because of his lack of success he lacks an identity. An example can be seen below

A pivotal scene in the play is a flashback in which Biff realizes his father is having an affair, this is what seems to be the catalyst for Biff’s failure later in life as well as the large rift between father and son. For half of the scene I would choose to have minimal lighting, the lighting