Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 22
the cost is worth it. Isn't that true, generally speaking?
MR. OENSLAGER: Yes.
MR. M ILLER: There isn't any lighting equipment that functions properly for outdoor
I just finished designing an outdoor theatre for a high school. The normal theatrical
equipment rusts and deteriorates outside
because nothing is sealed so that water and
everything else get within.
A whole system of theatrical lighting
needs to be developed for outdoor facilities.
MR. OLSON: I wish somebody would design and manufacture a follow spotlight that
is efficient, small, and easy to use and
operate. I would also like them to make it
noiseless. I would also like them, while we
are on the subject, to manufacture a muzzle
for operators so you wouldn't have to hear
them as you are trying to watch the drama.
I would also like to go to an arena show
and not hear all of the color frames drop in
as we change color. Would anyone like to
comment about that?
MR. MILLER: And add one thing, something that one individual can carry up a
flight of stairs.
MR. WARFEL: The word "noiseless" gets
us back to a point that is one of my hopes
for the next 24 or 23 or the next two
years, dreamer that I am.
Point Five was a high-wattage (and I
think we must read there high-intensity)
lamp which will remain cool, because the
noise is a matter of air. We have to blow
air over something to keep it cool.
And when the tungsten halogen lamp
came along it was a little bitty thing the
size of a pencil and everybody jumped for
joy, and 10 and behold 500 watts turned
out to be 500 watts, and the tiny instrument burned up-as they still do. (Laughter)
Nobody has outlawed heat yet.
I think noiselessness goes hand-in-hand
with getting rid of blowers which in turn
means getting rid of heat while maintaining
If that Point Seven, the lamp which will
dim without growing warm were accomplished I think we would all leap for joy.
MR. GERSZTOFF: There are still a great
many things we need. We have talked today about just the last page of the article,
and there was a lot preceding it.
which we are now working with, which require a whole new approach. These new
types of stages didn't exist, to any degree
at all, 24 years ago. I was concerned primarily with proscenium arch lighting, and
that is quite different.
We now need lighting equipment that's
far more sensitive because the equipment
is so close to the performer. To bring out
the life, the animation of the actor on the
stage, requires the most subtle kind of light.
We are lighting all of these new stages,
but the equipment is old-fashioned.
At this point the discussion was opened
to the floor. Among the opinions and statements about equipment and design technology were the following:
MR. DON SWINNEY: All of the panelists
have suggested that the instrumentation
we now have is gross, and that the public
would not pay for better. Yet quality lines
in any product that I know of are selling
Have they tried us?
MR. THOMAS LEMONS: I think if people in lighting would try for the next 24
years to understand more about it we
would find that the problems in this article
were probably answered 100 years ago_
Soft lights have been here since light
was invented. The first time the sun came
up, one side was that spotlight and one
side was that soft light, because the sky
was the soft light.
Now you talk about wanting to create
shadowless light. This led a few years ago,
through the I.E.S. and their activity in film
lighting, to a shadow factor concept. If there
is anything that ever bombed, it was the
shadow box concept. Despite the fact it
bombed, it was a hell of an interesting
R.F. lamps were developed and bombed
-light sources that created less heat, a lot
less and a lot more heat, but they are not
There are light sources that will give you
constant color temperature, and there are
bright fluorescent lamps and dimmable fluorescent lamps as far as brightness is concerned-just as there are incandescent.
And the tungsten halogen lamp that
created all that heat because it was so
small appeared in '59. Still today it hasn't
been properly applied because we don't
If we think about architecture and lighting in the way that he expressed it and say
that a theatre or play is a microcosm of a
construction in terms of a stage set, we
don't do too well. We can do a Georgian
interior or a smokehouse in Oklahoma, but
the techniques of lighting design remain
pretty much constant.
MISS WINIFRED SENSIBA: We have
given you some of the tools you asked for
and we find that you are not using them.
MR. OENSLAGER: I think we all feel that
design techniques have changed because
of the totally different forms of stages
For instance, today we can dim fluorescent tubes. Using a fluorescent tube, you
are generating beam directly at a ratio of,
This is where I think we have to start
trying to understand what we are doing,
because it's there and it's been there. We
just don't see it yet.
perhaps, 60 or 70 lumens per watt, where
with incandescents you have 50 lumens per
watt. Put a green filter in front of it and
you may wind up with two or three, so you
have 30 or 40 times the efficiency.
However, in the theatre you can't use
fluorescents because the luminaires take up
too much space. Also, with fluorescents
you need a different dimmer which you can
use only for f1uorescents.
In some instances we have given you the
tools you asked for and you find you really
didn't want them. That's normal in development.
In terms of the dollar sign, you underestimate your own power. The dollar is extremely important, and we would all be foolish if we did not recognize it, but look at
what we are putting in theatres today versus
what we put in as little as 15 years ago.
Today most high schools have electronic
dimmer systems, spotlights out front, connectors to certain spotl ights on the patchboard, etc.
All that is required is that you, the user,
or you the specifying agent, believe enough
and sufficiently to say, "This is what I
want." The agency building the theatre will
accept it because they are paying you for
your valued judgment.
Say the ellipsoidal reflector spotlight
avai lable today costs $ 50. If you want one
with shutters that will stand up and that
lock in at a cost of $ 7 5, the manufacturers
will give it to you if you are strong enough
to make that specification stick_
Mr. Warfel, you talked about color shift
in incandescent lamps_
In fact, when you are setting up a scene,
and consider all the factors, how much
does this color temperature shift as you
dim get in your way? If it is given to you
but with a price tag, will you say, "Well, it
really is not worth the money?"
MR. WARFEL: I would be willing to pay
for it if it existed. I would even be willing
to put up with initial problems if I thought
it would be of value in future installations.
MISS SENSIBA: You are saying the color
temperature shift in dimming gets in your
way as you are lighting the scene?
MR. WARFEL: Absolutely. Take blues and
fade them down and see what happens. It
makes you sick.
MISS SENSI BA: I would turn in my six
fluorescent dimmers at $ 50 apiece for one
good one and pay $ 500 for it. I have
toured for the City, and there is a drastic
problem of space. Fluorescents are a tremendous asset.
MR. MITCH MILLER: I think I gained a
lot of respect for you people just listening
here today. As a stagehand I realize how
little stagehands know. But there are a lot
of things which you really are forgetting.
(Continued on page 26.)
THEATER DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
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