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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Lighting a puppet theatre (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

lostpuppets
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Hi Guys! What lights would I use if I wanted to light a puppet theatre/minature stage?

Sorry total layman
Tim
ClintonMagus
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Southwestern Southeast
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Googling "How to light a puppet theater", I get this:

http://www.schoolofpuppetry.com.au/tutor......pet-show
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Ray Pierce
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In lighting a puppet stage, you just have to be aware of the scaling of the lights. The same techniques apply to a regular stage. There are some smaller fixtures like the MR 16 units that do very well on smaller stages.

There are also a wide array of LED fixtures that are small, very practical, and put out very little heat which is very important when you're above the puppets in a traditional marionette stage. They also have the advantage of giving you an infinite range of color from the same spot.

Most traditional stage lighting is going to be too big and burn too hot for a smaller stage. I've worked on puppet stages that were larger than some traditional stages. In those cases we used traditional lighting fixtures and just match the angle to the eye level of the puppets rather than a human size focus. My first puppet stage was lit with a string of Christmas lights with some aluminum foil behind it just back of the proscenium. Those are the two extremes. There are also some architectural fixtures that are very practical because they are smaller, focusable and burn cooler than traditional stage lighting fixtures.

I might also recommend putting in a track lighting system as there are some small fixtures that are track mountable that can be moved and adapted very easily. The disadvantage is every fixture on one track will be on the same circuit so you lose some flexibility in dimming and control. The other factor is and what type of puppets you will be using. If you are lighting to minimize thread visibility for marionettes, it will be a different lighting pattern that if you are lighting for hand and rod puppets or other types.

Probably the best thing to do is to look at a traditionally lit stage and then just find fixtures that are scaled smaller such as the MR 16's and create a similar light plot with the smaller fixtures.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
lostpuppets
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Thanks for your detailed response Ray. Extremely helpful cheers
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