DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
C H A P T E R 3: ACCESSORY EQUIPMENT
Beyond the needs of operational utility, the pur-
pose of vision-related accessories is to enhance
Most Rooms under discussion in this Guide are
Frontal, one of three capacities or sizes, for pres-
of legitimate drama, musical drama, and opera.
entations of four varieties: drama, dance, mus-
Dance and operatic recital should be provided
ical drama, and music. The following discussion
with a modest facility for scenic effects and dra-
is concerned with accessory equipment's basic
matic lighting. Music presentations, including
purpose and functional impact within such Room
choral and recital forms, require the smallest
amount of visual enhancement in the form of
concert lighting, and in some cases profit from
B. CLASSIFICATION OF ACCESSORY
backdrops and masking to set scale and conceal
Accessory functions may be grouped according
This is the most important drama accessory. It
to the communicative media they enhance. Here
furnishes color, mood, atmospheric effects on
they are listed in two groups associated with
stage; indicates change of context, passage of
Vision and Hearing.
time, symbolic change of scene; and it centers
attention on specific actors or regions of the
1. Lighting of performance and sets, and special
Theatrical lighting is not like architectural or ex-
hibition lighting; it is constantly changing during
Masks, screens, closures.
performance and no two productions are likely
to repeat a given array. Every sequence of dra-
matic events has a corresponding series of light-
ing events. At any point, there may be half a
Visual monitoring for control of lighting and
dozen ways to light an actor, a group of actors,
a set piece, a single property, a backdrop, the
stage floor and enframement. Each may involve
6. Television for broadcast.
several angles, colors, intensities and beam
7. Film projection.
widths. When the actor moves the light moves
with him, or it may move without him. In short,
the lighting scenario is as much an element of
theater arts as the reading of a script. Lighting
1. Source positioning, risers, pits.
systems must be able to facilitate change with
2. Enclosures, shells.
the greatest range of options.
A combination of portable fixtures, on-stage ad-
4. Additive/subtractive volumes.
justable attachment points, and house wall and
ceiling positions allows the selection of several
5. Electronic audio systems.
basic types of lighting:
6. Aural monitoring for control of electronic
On The Actor
7. Communication systems
Downlighting, creating pools of light on the
floor from above.
The existence and operation of these accessories
Sidelighting, giving form and color to the ac-
in the Room has impact on the total environment
in both physical and perceptual terms. The kind
and quantity of accessories is related to the na-
Backlighting, making the actor stand out from
ture of performance in much the same way de-
sired Drama and Music Room qualities are as-
sociated with vision and hearing parameters.
Area lighting, providing basic reference vis-
C. VISION-RELATED ACCESSORIES
ibility from the front.