LitePads Center (and Back) Stage

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We’ve shared several stories about the spectacular architectural installations featuring Rosco LitePads and other stories from filmmakers about how they’ve used LitePads on the sets of your favorite movies & television shows. This post will show off some creative ways LitePad has been used in theatre – including a backstage installation that illuminates theatrical line-sets, a few examples of how LitePad can make props glow and a creative project that used a LitePad to back light scenic elements on stage.

LVH Entertainment Systems recently installed a new Thern Stage Equipment rigging system at Zellerbach Hall on the campus of UC Berkeley. One of the desires of their client was to have a glowing index on the lock rail that would eliminate the need for overhead index lights and allow them to label the line sets with a dry-erase marker.

Rosco supplied Thern a LitePad solution consisting of 3” LitePads that were fabricated to fit inside the lengths of the customized Thern Lock Rail. The LVH crew installed the LitePads and then inserted a frosted polycarbonate on top of them. The rigging and grip crews that work in Zellerbach Hall now have a glowing index they can use to easily label and read the line sets of their new fly system.

Props artisans are often searching for ways to make their props glow. There are several LED solutions that can be installed into props, but very few offer the soft, even glow of LitePad.

In this production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, LitePads were inserted into the book read by The Narrator. The LitePads not only illuminated the actress playing The Narrator in the scene, but did so in a flattering way.

The crew was able to control the 3”x6” LitePad inside the book using a 2ch DMX Dimmer hidden inside the lectern holding The Narrator’s book.

If you need the prop to be more mobile, like this book from a production of One Arm and a Leg, then you can use a LitePad and a AA Battery Holder concealed in the actor’s costume.

Lighting Designer Mary Eleanor Stebbins used a battery-powered 6”x6” LitePad inside a book to illuminate the actor’s face.

When a prop laptop is used on stage, it’s necessary to generate additional glow from the computer’s monitor in order to compensate for the intensity of the stage lights. Filmmakers have been using this technique for monitor glow for years because LitePad’s soft light output creates that effect easily and perfectly. The design team at Painting With Light created the visual concept and lighting design for Musical Van Vlaanderen’s production of Ben X in Ghent Belgium. The show is about a boy with autism that escapes into a fantasy, computer game-world to escape his bullying. The main character spends a great deal of time carrying around a laptop that has a LitePad installed inside to illuminate the actor’s face as he’s engrossed in the game that is projected behind him.

LitePads are an excellent way to build illuminated elements into scenery. Brian Wainwright from Theatre YK shared a story of how LitePad was built into the scenery to create a pivotal lighting effect in a production of The Lion King. (Spoiler Alert) Near the end of the show, Simba looks into the river and sees the spirit of his dead father Mufasa in the moonlit reflection. To create this effect on stage, a riverbank set-piece was constructed using plywood, Styrofoam, some blue translucent fabric and a 24”x24” LitePad.

A lion face was designed and taped onto the LitePad which was mounted underneath the fabric.

A Single Fader LitePad Dimmer and a AA Battery Holder are recessed into the styrofoam surround of the riverbank. This allows the actor playing Simba to control the “Mufasa Effect” while he’s on all fours staring into the water.

Riverbank set piece – unlit.

Riverbank set with Mufasa’s spirit glowing in the water.

Rosco LitePads have proven themselves to be a valuable lighting tool on-camera, integrated into architectural installations – and on-stage. Whether you’re using them as work lights back stage, adding a glow to props or creating a special effect for the pivotal moment of your production, LitePads are truly your everywhere light.  We’d love to see the creative ways you’ve used LitePad – please share your image/video and story on our Rosco Facebook page.

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Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. In that time, his knowledge of Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.