books, books, books [part i]

July 28, 2008

so with the startling realization that in 295 days [6 hours, 23 minutes, but who’s counting?] i will hold a shiny degree that allows me to actually TEACH, i have found myself trying to prepare for the “unknown.”  i don’t exactly look my age [24] or anything remotely “professor-like”, so i don’t believe i will be serenading college students with lectures anytime soon.  however, an actor friend brought up that nonetheless, i should be working on my library.

library.  hah.  i am a little late on that.  we all know that theatre people aren’t exactly the richest people in the bunch [paycheck to paycheck for your art and all], so buying texts i didn’t need at the moment was never a priority.  don’t get me wrong – i have a great collection of plays.  i even have mass media communication research and literature from my second major in undergrad.  however, my “technical library” does not go much further than michael gilette’s books on lighting design and technical production.  oh, and the backstage handbook, so i can fumble with all of those knots that i don’t know that i really should.

my coworker, ben, is entering a grad program for lighting design this year and handed over his reading list to me last week.  26 pages of books i had never even HEARD of before, all to be read before he graduates in 2011.  my reading list for grad school was one page, mainly filled with plays i’d covered years ago.  this reading list has now become my personal goal.  it is also helpful because it covers areas other than lighting, and i am highly considering getting a second masters in sound design and technology [my second love].

so i have begun “the library.”  amazon marketplace is a dream come true for my pocketbook.

so here are my most recent purchases:

  • automated lighting, by richard cadena
  • control systems for live entertainment, by john huntington
  • lighting design handbook by lee watson
  • music, sound, and sensation: a modern exposition, by fritz winckel
  • the empty space: a book about the theatre: deadly, holy, rough, immediate, by peter brook

to be fair, the first two i purchased around the time USITT, but things in my personal life didn’t really lend well to reading textbooks at that time.  i have gotten though automated lighting and think it’s a wonderful text…but i need a refresher!  and while i know that the watson book is outdated, i still love it.  where else will you find a light plot for the ice capades?

for now, i am going off of ben’s reading list, but also taking more suggestions.  what is your favorite book in your theatre library?  what book would you absolutely recommend?  and where can i find a copy of stage design by tony davis that won’t run me $150+?  any and all input is greatly appreciated!



  1. Hey, Kat

    Nice to see we’ve got some favourites in common. Check out my 5 top Books on Stage Lighting

    Best wishes


  2. Thanks for buying my book, hope you enjoy it!

    Check out my blog too, at http://www.controlgeek.net/blog


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