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Guide to Lighting Design Online Classes for Aspiring Theater Professionals

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 6/23/2010

Is the theater in your blood, but you do not relish the notion of performing? Joining the stage crew on a freelance or full time basis may be the next best thing. Find out how lighting design online classes can prepare you for an important, artistic, and rewarding career.

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    How Lighting Design Online Classes Set You on the Road to Freelance Theater Work

    Bright Hub’s own Willa explained in her article entitled “The Exciting Career of Interior Architecture & Design" how earning an online architecture degree includes coursework in advanced lighting techniques. Employment opportunities for students with this degree include set designer and other artistic professions. If you do not have the time or money to spend on a degree, individual lighting design online classes may be the next best option.

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    Available Classes for Would-be Freelancers

    Free introductory course by Philips

    Start off your training with a free online course entitled “Lessons in Lighting." It covers basic lighting concepts for professionals and novices. This course is available in English and Spanish. Several professional organizations---such as the American Lighting Association, National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions and also the American Institute of Architects---accept completion of the course for continuing education credits.

    LED in Lighting Design

    Another free course is offered by Architect Magazine. It focuses on LED use in lighting design and makes it possible for the theater stage hand to use this energy saving technology to its fullest extent. Even though the course is not directly aimed at theatrical productions, the transferability of the information and applicability of the technology discussed is unmistakable.

    Limperts Academy Lighting Design

    This is a full length course that explains the basic and intermediary concepts of lighting effects and design communications. You receive a certificate of completion upon finishing all of your coursework. The total cost is $1,395.

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    Annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes: Offline Learning

    This class is an extensive in-depth course for the serious or advanced theater lighting professional in search of further training. It is an intensive hands-on class that spans three days, discusses scenic design, Broadway lighting tricks, and associated trade specific information. A solid understanding of standard theater lighting techniques is a must. Costs vary, depending on your registration status, and you need to invest in your travel and also lodging. Although usually offline classes do not make it into an online education article, it is important to note that this kind of hands-on experience can be the one finishing touch for your freelance education that might set you apart from other hopefuls in the theater.

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    Making Connections

    Breaking into the theater business---or any form of show business---requires skills and passion as well as connections. While lighting design online classes can get you the skills you need, the offline learning opportunities may get you the connections that the business entails. Even if the events appear cost prohibitive, consider carefully if you can afford not to invest in this aspect of your freelance career.

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    Sources

    • Lessons in Lighting: http://www.lightolier.com/resources/edu_lessons.jsp
    • Annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes: http://livedesignonline.com/masterclasses/lighting/
    • Limperts Academy: http://www.limpertsacademy.com/html/courses/crt-lighting.html
    • Architect Magazine: http://www.architectmagazine.com/continuing-education/Subjects/Lighting_Design.aspx





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