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News & Notices
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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Lighting Again Offers
Portfolio Reviews

Sabrina Hamilton
Lighting Commission

Half-hour Portfolio Reviews will again be offered by the Lighting Commission at the 2006 Conference & Stage Expo in Louisville.

Lighting designers of any level - undergraduate, graduate, and professional - have a special opportunity for a constructive, outside assessment of their portfolios by pairs of highly-qualified lighting professionals and educators. Lighting educators should urge their students to take advantage of this service and anyone going up for tenure or promotion will find it beneficial.

Here are some tips for presenting a lighting portfolio:

  • Be prepared to talk about the work, to guide reviewers through the portfolio. Materials should begin with a resume and should include all the materials itemized below for at least one realized production (although some undergraduates may have only classroom projects available). For graduating MFA students or working professionals, it may be appropriate to fully document two or three disparate productions to indicate a range of styles and experiences. It is impractical to include all 11 items for every show; however, there is an expectation that any realized productions included in the portfolio will be represented by a minimum of a light plot and a production photo or two.
  • Materials generally used to document productions include: a script analysis/conceptual statement/lighting analysis, a scene breakdown/cue synopsis, communication tools (storyboards, sketches, painted renderings, collages, photographs, or a computer simulation), evidence of research, a centerline section, a light plot or lighting layout, a channel hookup and dimmer schedule, an instrument schedule, a patch list, a magic sheet and cheat sheet, and documentation of the design (reviews, photographs, videos, and slides). These materials may be supplemented with evidence of work in other theatrical design fields, the fine arts, or in technical areas.
  • Everything should be labeled clearly with enough information so the reviewer can easily determine what the production is and for which element(s) the presenter was responsible. Material should be organized in a manner that allows for easy retrieval and a coherent review. Neatness counts!

Watch Sightlines and the Conference Opportunities area of the web site for information on how to sign up before the conference for a guaranteed portfolio review. Sign-up sheets will also be posted in Louisville for any remaining slots, but priority goes to those who sign up in advance.

The Commission is always interested in expanding the pool of lighting designers for the review teams. Done in teams of two, the reviews are a wonderful opportunity to work with old friends, meet new colleagues, and mentor designers. If interested in serving as a reviewer or for other questions, e-mail Sabrina Hamilton at

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