Things I Know to be True: Lighting design (direction, colour, intensity, special effects)

Things I Know to be True: Lighting design (direction, colour, intensity, special effects)

Lighting Design in “Things I Know to be True”

General Overview

  • Lighting design in “Things I Know to be True” is vital; using direction, colour, intensity, and special effects, it creates an immersive atmosphere, narrating the story and highlighting the characters’ emotions.

Lighting Direction

  • Lighting direction dictates from where the light comes. Key lighting originates from the front, while back lighting illuminates from behind the actors. Side and top lighting bring unique tones and emphasis to scenes.

Lighting Color

  • Lighting color enhances mood and setting. Cool colours like blue represent sadness or tension, but warm colours like yellow or red suggest happiness or conflict. The mix of these colours reflects the joy and sorrow contrast in the Price family’s shared moments.

Lighting Intensity

  • Lighting intensity shows the time of day and setting, with low intensity for nighttime or gloomy scenes, and high intensity for daytime or dramatically tense scenes. The intensity’s fluctuation mirrors the family’s ebb and flow of experiences throughout the drama.

Special Effects

  • Special effects, such as gobos, projections, or strobe effects are sparingly but effectively used in “Things I Know to be True”. They provide visual interest, evoke strong emotions, or underline key plot points.


  • Transitions between scenes are often crafted with subtle changes in lighting, easing the audience into the next narrative part without causing a disruptive break.

Key Role of Light

  • Light’s primary function in the play is to focus attention on essential elements or characters at particular moments. For example, character’s dilemma might be spotlighted to make this conflict the center of attention.

The Role of Script

  • To effectively employ lighting techniques, it’s essential to dissect the script and understand the characters’ emotional dynamics. The use of lighting can dramatically influence the play’s dynamics and experience, acting as an additional, unseen character.