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Lighting A'la Houston

We have used the same basic lighting system since the 70s or early 80s, and it works well in both large and small theaters. We have a regular slide projector on a lazy-susan sort of device that allows smooth movment of the beam. There is a handle attached to the back of the lazy-susan and the whole unit is securely mounted to the top of an aluminum stepladder.

We have a number of different slides to accomodate the various scenes. (See diagrams) These include:


1. A round spotlight intended to light one person, such as the preshow emcee, Trixie, etc.

2. A wider, elliptical spot that will light up to three or four people. This is used the most frequently.

3. A very wide spot for "big" scenes, like the chorus line in "Wild and Untamed Thing", etc.

4. A bluish slide painted to look like rain. Guess where you might use this.

5. A slide painted to look like Riff Raff’s window in "Over at the Frankenstein Place." It is blue around the edges and gradually fades to frame Riff’s face in the middle.

6. A "spike" slide, the same size as #2, but with hagged points around the edges to use during Rocky’s birth.

Most of these slide designs will be used several times, so duplicates of some of them are required so they can be sequential without a lot of confusion with flipping back and forth. Using the system takes a little practice at first, and a cue sheet is often helpful. I have included ours; it is pretty self-explanatory.

For clarity, slide #2 is supposed to remain in from "Sword of Damocles" until "The Floorshow Solos" with the projector being switched on and off at the times noted.


     CUE                TYPE                REMARKS              
      1                  1                   PRESHOW
      2                  2                   WEDDING SCENE
      3                  BLUE                CAR SCENE/THERE’S A LIGHT PART 1
      4                  WIN                 RIFF'S TOWER SCENE (THE DARKNESS...)
      5                  BLUE                THERE'S A LIGHT PART 2
      6                  1                   CRIM #2 SO IT SEEMS...
      7                  BLUE                DOORSTEP SCENE
      8                  2                   FOYER SCENE
      9                  3                   TIME WARP
      10                 2                   FRANK'S ENTRANCE
      11                 SPIKE               BIRTH SCENE
      12                 2                   SWORD OF DAMOCLES
                        (OFF)                JANET’S BEDROOM
                        (ON)                 RIFF TEASES ROCKY
                        (OFF)                BRAD'S BEDROOM
      13                1                    FLOOR SHOW SOLOS
      14                2                    POOL SCENE
      15                3                    CHORUS LINE
      16                2                    IT’S ALL OVER...
      17                3                    CURTAIN CALL (BOW)