The theatrical world is a living organism, it changes as rapidly as the surrounding reality, but there are things that are not subject to time. For example, the organization of the stage space, the unity of time and place of action, as well as some technical features such as lighting and arrangement of devices.
The era of living fire
Specific stage lighting has been used since the times of the ancient Greek and Roman theater, in those days oil torches were used, placed around the perimeter of the amphitheater. To create color or a certain atmosphere of mystery, colored smoke was used, as well as a reduction in the number of torches.
In the Middle Ages, the stage was lit with candles, and later with gas lamps. Reflectors were used for both light sources: polished metal or mirror. With the advent of incandescent lamps in stage lighting, a new era has begun.
Artists highlight different scenes and individual actors with light to make them more expressive and stylistic.
Until the 30s of the last century, primitive electric lamps were used for stage lighting; they were installed pointwise and peripherally. On average, in one performance, up to 500 lamps were used, which were controlled by 350-500 switches. At the beginning of the 1930s, the first special stage spotlight based on an elliptical reflector was invented, which was widely used in theaters to create special lighting phenomena during a performance. With the help of stage lighting, you can achieve the most realistic perception of the performance and make it more natural.
Profile spotlights in slang are called "head", they are really large and round, installed around the perimeter of the ramp. By the way, the ramp also has lighting, usually linear.
The next stage of technical progress in stage lighting took place in the 60s of the last century, when the SCR dimmer was invented, with the help of which it became possible to perform dimming effects during the performance. Then simple light fixtures turned into lighting designers.
Lighting effects developed in theaters have been carried over to cinema.
Today, special projectors with complex designs are used to illuminate theaters and cinema stages, which are quite expensive. Most modern theater floodlights use reflective optics. There are the following main types of theater spotlights:
- floodlights with replaceable glasses of the Sourse Four Par type;
- spotlights using a headlamp;
- lensless low-voltage floodlights.
Modern spotlights are called spotlights, they have a directional light, the intensity of which can be adjusted. Soffits that are suspended high above the stage and have a ray-like stream of light are called "quasars" by analogy with the bright stars in the galaxy.
In the 19th century, floodlights with automatic focusing of light on a scene or an actor with automatic tracking of an object began to be used. With the development of computer technology, it became possible to control light using a computer, which greatly simplified the work of illuminators and expanded the range of artistic possibilities. In addition, scrollers have become widely used to obtain various color shades, and to change the illumination of the scene, special projectors with motorized curtains and automatic control are installed. They are the ones that are replacing the outdated manually operated theater floodlights.