Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in THTR 77.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be ale to read and implement simple lighting plans.
  • Successful students will be able to identify and correctly use the basic tools used to hang, focus, and circuit stage lighting equipment


A survey of lighting design for the theatre, film, and television. An introduction to the basic elements of electrical wiring, lighting instruments, lighting control devices, and lighting special effects. Basic lighting design principles of color, intensity, direction, and movement. Use of computer to design simple stage lighting plans.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Identify, define, and describe terminology commonly associated with theatrical lighting design and execution
  2. Identify the controllable qualities of theatrical lighting
  3. Identify the functions of theatrical lighting
  4. Recognize and explain the different types of drawings and paperwork commonly used in theatrical lighting design
  5. Calculate the capacity of electrical wire gauge and safe current flow
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the function of various theatrical lighting instruments
  7. Recall and practice safety information concerning electrical hazards
  8. Participate in the hanging, circuiting, focusing, and operation of theatrical lighting equipment
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of style, color, texture, angle, and mood as they relate to theatrical lighting design
  10. Produce the paperwork necessary to implement a lighting design

Course Content

  1. Introduction to designing with light
  2. Electrical theory and practice
  3. Lighting equipment
  4. Lighting design paperwork
  5. Rehearsal and performance procedures
  6. Color theory
  7. Lighting angles
  8. Additional theories of lighting design; similarities and differences
    1. Dramas
    2. Comedies
    3. Musicals
    4. Dance concert lighting
  9. Theoretical projects as needed to show mastery of topics

Lab Content

Students will work under the guidance of faculty and professional lighting designers to participate in the planning and execution of lighting effects for current department and community theatrical productions.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Studio facilities with access to drafting tables, lighting equipment, theatre, films and slides, computer lab.
2. Portions of the class taught online will require regular access to a computer capable of accessing the course delivery system through the internet.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Graded examinations
Class participation
Portfolio review
Final project

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Field work
Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat
Independent study

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Gillette, Michael. Theatrical Design and Production, 8th ed.. 2020.

Pilbrow, Richard. Stage Lighting Design, the Art, the Craft, the Life (ISBN: 0896762351). 1999.

Although the Pilbrow text is older than the recommended five years, it is considered a seminal work in the discipline.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Progressive weekly readings from the text—approximately 40 pages per week
  2. Attendance at public performances and written observations of lighting effects used and analysis of the effectiveness of the lighting as part of the overall design and performance
  3. Written analysis of plays and the required lighting effects for an effective production. Plays used have included "The Zoo Story" by Edward Albee, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, and "The Adding Machine" by Elmer Rice
  4. Light plot and associated paperwork for one of the above plays


Stagecraft or Theater Arts