Hook: Have a lighting plot displayed on the projector screen. (Any from http://mktheatredesign.com/blog-post-page/page/3/). Ask if anyone knows how to read the plot, have the students come up and see how much they can figure out from what they see. What is on the plot? How can you tell? What do you notice about it? What do you see?
Step 1: Go over the defining features of a light plot, if the students have not already identified them. These include the key, various instruments, how electrics are labeled and measured on the plots, and how the plot looks with the stage around it. Give each student a drafting stencil. Let them compare their stencil to the marks on the screen so they can figure out what each thing means. If they have questions, answer them. Truthfully, designers can change what different marks mean on a plot as long as their key explains it. Lighting plots have to be measured exactly, so make sure students know the
Step 2: Hand out rubric and plots papers for the Lighting Design project. (You can use the plot below, or your own theater’s dimensions.) Review the requirements with the students.
Step 3: Let them start designing! The rest of class is so they can start working on their projects. Have the students start by dividing the stage into areas, then encourage them to focus on lighting placement and figuring out a group of lights, either all of the facelight or all of the lights for one or two areas, before the end of class. Have each class member choose a partner for today so they can answer each other’s questions. If neither knows the answer, then they can ask the teacher.