How Much Equipment You Might Need
The suggestions below can not take into account the many factors involved in your production, they are offered as a guide to the basic equipment you may need. Every production will need some lighting, but many shows may not need any sound equipment.
For a small stage or acting area no more than about 4 metres wide and 2 metres deep, for a show like a school nativity play.
Six to eight small stage lights, rated at 300 to 500 watts each, with a simple control system will be ideal. As it is possible you will have no permanent lighting bar you could put up to four lanterns on each of two lighting stands. Six 500w or eight 300w lights could be run from a normal 13 amp socket.
|Basic Spot (300w)||Fresnel (500w)||Dimmer Pack (3 x 1kw)||Control Desk|
For background or interval music a good quality home hi-fi system will be adequate. If you need
to use microphones or amplify instruments a simple combined 100w Mixer-Amplifier would be adequate
with two speakers
Typical School Stage or Small Drama Studio
For a stage area up to about 9 metres wide and 4 metres deep.
Allow about 500 watts of light per square metre. You will need to use lights rated at up to 1kw / 1.2kw each. Not all the stage will be visible or in use (some will be obscured by scenery and curtains) so this average will allow for extra light in key areas. You may need additional lanterns for cycloramas, backlighting, groundrow, etc. A control system with 12 to 18 channels would be required.
|Fresnel (500w / 650w)||Profile Lantern (1kw / 1.2kw)||Dimmer Packs and Control Desk|
An audio mixer and separate 200w Power Amplifier with two speakers may be adequate, depending on the size of the auditorium. The number of channels required on the mixer will be dependant on how many (if any) microphones you are using. A second amplifier and additional pair of speakers may be useful so that the volume can be loud enough, but spread out between the amplifiers so that people near the speakers do not find it too loud. You may also need a Graphic Equaliser, depending on the acoustics of the auditorium.
Larger Stage, Drama Studio, etc.
Larger performance venue are more likely to have their own equipment, but may not have sufficient lanterns or microphones for your purposes.
For larger areas allow proportionally more light per square metre. A production on this scale will often require multiple lights covering the same area for effects and to create different atmospheric conditions. A control system with at least 18 channels would be required, a memory desk would be an advantage.
|Fresnel (500w - 2kw)||Profile Lantern (1kw - 2kw)||Dimmer Packs and Control Desk|
An audio mixer and several separate Power Amplifiers with anything from six speakers will be
required. The number of channels required on the mixer will be dependant on how many (if any)
microphones you are using. You are likely to need a Graphic Equaliser for larger venues as they are
likely to have more demanding acoustic characteristics.
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.