Lighting Designer | Kids Work!

What is a Lighting Designer?

The lighting designer arranges the stage lighting that illuminates the actors and creates the mood for a scene. An understanding of how light travels, reflects and absorbs is necessary to light a performance. It is also important to understand electricity and how it works within the circuitry of the theater. The lighting designer studies the script and works closely with the director to make sure that the lighting is perfectly timed and placed during a scene. This requires the measurement of distances and calculations in timing. The designer reviews what the actors, set designers, wardrobe and makeup supervisors have created, and then chooses the colors of the lights and effects to artistically enhance the performance.

Real People Profile

Name: Dirk Holleman
Workplace: Peace Center for the Performing Arts
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in technical theater,
Florida State University
Favorite Subject(s) in School: Theater
First Real Job: Stagehand at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium.
Dream Job: I have it now--Peace Center Production Manager and Lighting Designer
Interests: Not available

Real People Q&A

Advice for students interested in my job: 
Study everything you can. Make yourself unique.

What subjects in school will students need to do my job?
Math, literature, English, and business management

What I like most about my job? 
It doesn't feel like a job. You never do the same thing. I meet people from all over the world, all the time. And this really is a small business. You know a lot of people and it's sort of family.

What is the biggest challenge in my job? 
The challenge is making our very busy schedule happen and keeping under budget. We average 550 events (when you count load-ins and load- outs) a year between two venues, and keeping that under budget to where everybody's happy can be a little trying sometimes, but it's not bad.

How do you get a job like mine?
I was home, off of one tour and leaving to go production-manage a cruise line for a three-month cruise around South America. My business agent said, "Go down to the Peace Center, they need to talk to you," and I had the job that afternoon. Leading up to that was years and years of tours, college rock-and roll concerts, and just shows all over the world.