Higher Education

Scene Design and Stage Lighting, 9th Edition

  • W. Oren Parker Late, Carnegie Mellon University
  • R. Craig Wolf San Diego State University
  • Dick Block Carnegie Mellon University
  • ISBN-10: 0495501905  |  ISBN-13: 9780495501909
  • 656 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2003, 1996, 1990
  • © 2009 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $199.50
  • Newer Edition Available



Packed with professional information and cutting-edge technologies, SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING, Ninth Edition, remains the industry's most reliable resource for information on scenery, lighting, sound, and technology. Emphasizing collaboration, the exciting new ninth edition mirrors the best of real-world practices. With a stronger emphasis on modern technology, changes are reflected in the coverage of lighting and sound with an expanded section on television design. With 32 pages of four-color inserts, production photographs, and new insightful interviews with professional lighting and scenery designers, the new edition spotlights examples of contemporary work. Reflecting current professional practice, SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING, Ninth Edition, offers in-depth coverage of a broad range of topics, making it the most detailed and comprehensive text available in the scenic and lighting design and technology fields.

Features and Benefits

  • A classic text for stage design and lighting, SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING, Ninth Edition's two major strengths are its comprehensiveness and readability. Extremely student friendly and engaging, it covers a wide range of topics in great detail, with information for introductory and more advanced courses--equipping readers with tools they will use throughout their careers.
  • Emphasizing modern technology, the text is the most detailed and comprehensive book available in the scenic and lighting design and technology fields. Thorough coverage in the lighting section reflects current practice and technology.
  • Collaboration among all members of the design team--sound, costume, lighting, scenic, and director--is emphasized throughout the text.
  • "Working Professionals" and "Designers at Work" boxes feature interviews with professional lighting designers, scenic designers, sound designers, a technical director, and prop master, giving readers insight from real practitioners. A chapter on "Lighting Design as a Profession" provides additional career/professional insight.
  • Reflecting the digital age in which we live and work, sound chapters emphasize digital technology, modern equipment, and design techniques.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.
2. Scene Design and the Theatre Space.
3. Scene Design as a Visual Art.
4. The Design Process.
5. Color in the Design.
6. Drafting the Design.
7. The Scene Shop, Tools, and Equipment.
8. Building the Scenery.
9. Painting Scenery.
10. Handling Scenery.
11. Stage Properties and the Designer.
12. Sound and Music in the Theatre.
13. Sound Systems and Equipment.
14. Introduction to Stage-Lighting.
15. Distribution.
16. Color and Light.
17. Lighting Instruments.
18. Projection, Practicals, and Effects.
19. Design: Choices and Process.
20. Design: The Light Plot, Paperwork, and Production.
21. Lighting Control.
22. Stage-Lighting and Electricity.
23. Light Sources.
24. Design Techniques.
25. Lighting Design as a Profession.

What's New

  • Expanded coverage of current electronic drawing systems CAD and SketchUp. The changing nature of the field is reflected in the discussion of the growing use of computers in design, drafting, and technical production. In addition, 80 percent of drafting samples are new and are a mixture of hand and computer drafting, including samples drawn on the popular SketchUp application.
  • New modernized and expanded lighting design coverage is now more concentrated and focused and includes the most recent information available on lighting instruments, control, projection, and effects. Expanded coverage of new light sources includes HMI, low voltage, and LEDs. The text also features all new lighting equipment photographs.
  • Six new sections of color plates--for a total of 32 pages--are strategically placed within relevant chapters, such as scene design and lighting design chapters.
  • Approximately 90 percent of the designs pictured are new.
  • Scenery tools and building techniques are completely modernized, including low-tech and contemporary technology in moving scenery, stronger emphasis on the use of metals in scenery construction, discussions of mechanized vs. automated scenery, and more color examples of scene painting, including progression of specific textures. There are also new interviews with professional scenic designers.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The strengths of SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING, 8th edition are the extensive material and presentation on the technology associated with stage lighting, structuring chapters to relate this technology to the controllable properties of light (distribution, color, and intensity), and the black and white graphic illustrations that aid the understanding of equipment."

— Joseph E. Appelt, Jr., Northwestern University

"...if the Stage Lighting section of SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING were a stand-alone book, I would seriously consider it for two different classes. The author's presentation is more complete and readable than other books covering a comparable subject. For the non-design oriented student, who makes up 90% of our introductory class, it presents many subjects in an understandable fashion."

— Joseph E. Appelt, Jr., Northwestern University

"Overall this book is a wonderful text and reference book for Design and Theatrical Production students. Most of the chapters are incredibly comprehensive."

— Wendy Hiller, Elon University

"I find the clear, detailed and specific explanations in this book helpful."

— Brian S. Shevelenko, Faculty/Technical Dir., Dept. of Performance Studies, Texas A & M University

"Yes, so far this is the best, most readable, and most inclusive text on these topics I have found. I intend to keep using it."

— Brian S. Shevelenko, Faculty/Technical Dir., Dept. of Performance Studies, Texas A & M University

"This is an excellent book that has enjoyed a long history, always updated with great care. I look forward to the new edition and will certainly adopt it for all my classes."

— James L. Moody, Los Angeles City College


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

InfoTracĀ® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

This online research and learning center offers over 20 million full-text articles from nearly 6,000 scholarly and popular periodicals. The articles cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and topics--ideal for every type of researcher. Learn more at www.cengage.com/infotrac. (Access code/card required).

List Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $24.00

Instructor's Edition  (ISBN-10: 0495390941 | ISBN-13: 9780495390947)

Student Supplements

InfoTracĀ® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

Save time, save money, and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTracĀ® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

List Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $24.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

W. Oren Parker

W. Oren Parker inspired hundreds of designers over his very long and successful teaching career. His absolute love of architecture and furniture was obvious to anyone who took his History of Architecture and Decor class (affectionately known as "Pots and Pans," which he no doubt thought was hilarious) if only from the sheer volume of information and detail involved. His dedication to teaching was unbeatable. Parker was born and raised in Michigan, where he met his wife, Thelma (known as Teschie). He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and his master's degree from Yale University in 1940. He joined the faculty of Yale and remained there until becoming professor of drama at Carnegie Mellon University (then Carnegie Tech) in 1963. He retired in 1976. His book, SCENIC TECHNIQUES, was the first to standardize drafting for theatre, and SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING, written in collaboration with Harvey Smith in 1963 and now in its ninth edition, was the definitive text for designers planning to enter the profession. Parker joined the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) in 1963 and was elected a fellow in 1986, the same year he received one of the Institute's highest honors--the USITT Award--for his work as designer, educator, and author. In 2001, the USITT created the W. Oren Parker Scene Design Award. Sponsored by Stage Decoration & Supplies, Inc., the award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated excellence or outstanding potential in the area of scenic design in the performing arts while pursuing an undergraduate degree. It was the first of USITT's Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts aimed at undergraduate students.

R. Craig Wolf

R. Craig Wolf is a professional lighting designer as well as an educator. Mr. Wolf's designs have been seen nationwide, including productions for San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Dance Theatre Workshop in New York, Virginia Shakespeare, Richmond Ballet Company, Theatre Artaud in San Francisco, and Japan America Center and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble of Los Angeles. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and is vice chair of their Publications Committee and, for five years, he was lighting commissioner. He became a lighting associate member of the United Scenic Artists Design Union in 1977. Mr. Wolf has taught at the Universities of Michigan and Virginia and is currently professor of design, MFA graduate adviser, and head of the design program in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University.

Dick Block

Dick Block has worked as a freelance scene designer and a scenic artist for more than 25 years. He has designed for AMAS, Columbia Artists, and TheatreWorks USA, all in New York, and for the Virginia Stage Company, the Weston Playhouse (Vermont), and the Human Race (Ohio). Additional regional credits include work at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Center Stage in Baltimore, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, as well as the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. Block is also active with United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), having served as scene design co-commissioner and on the board of directors, and with the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival both regionally and nationally, having served as the first national design chair. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Medallion for Distinguished Service. Block received his MFA from Northwestern University. After teaching at the University of Michigan and Cornell, he is currently the associate head of the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon.