All browser-based. No installation. Ready to use.

Cue Builder

Choose settings. Set the skin tone for performers. Build looks using 47 channels, five areas, RGB color or a full swatch book. Record them. Play them back. Deliver them through email.

Cue Builder emulates a real stage with a lighting console. This is the most comprehensive and educational lab on this site. It is excellent for experimentation or for course projects.

  • Integrates the lessons of the other labs and tools.
  • The light plot has five focus areas plus specials.
  • Sidelight, top & bottom cyc light, footlights, seven lights per area, and more.
  • Full RGB control of any light in 47 channels.
  • A complete swatch book of color filters available for any light.
  • Apply gobos to any area light.
  • Choose from five different settings and stage arrangements.
  • Build your cues and record them with timings.
  • Deliver them by email in a playable format to multiple email addresses.
  • Teaches how a light plot is structured, controlled, and cued.
  • Runs on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera. Sorry, it does not run on Edge or Internet Explorer.
  • Designer Subscription or Mentor Subscription required.

Color Lab

Color Lab Preview

The Color Lab is for exploring basic color lighting on the human body and on a white floor. Three instruments from three directions with RGB control of brightness and color. Tested on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, & Edge.

Gobo Lab

Experiment with gobos, textures, & lighting direction. Nine ositi.descriptionons, each with ten gobo options & variable brightness. Two actors with simple scenery. Excellent for demonstrating direction and texture of light.  Tested on Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.   Sorry, it will not run on Internet Edge/Explorer.

Dance Lighting Lab

Create lighting for dance on a digital proscenium stage. Top light, side light, gobos, footlights, and more. Complete control of color and brightness. Tested on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, & Edge.

The Drama Machine

This is an interactive app that randomly combines the variables that we deal with in production: Script, Director’s Concept, Venue, Budget, and Time. It churns out the circumstances for a hypothetical production with gaudy special effects and noises. Click to read more!

Vintage Lighting Instruments

Some of the instruments shown here are hard to find today. Some of them are being phased out. I originally built this resource in 2003. Lighting technology has evolved quite a bit since then. Choose an instrument, and move the mouse over images that appear. Many of them will animate when you hover over them with more information.

Virtual Swatch Book


For the classroom: a simplified color-filter swatch book with a little extra help included. This is a slightly abbreviated Roscolux catalog.

Production beating

This is not a digital game – this is an actual deck of playing cards.

We like to think we all just want the show to be the best it can be, but we all bring our own character traits and flaws into the process. How do you train artists to look past their internal agendas and work together for the good of the show? And if not, how do you just have a lot of fun along the way? With PRODUCTION BEATING, students role-play a production meeting.

Click to read more.

The Production Machine
(Coming in June)

By popular request, a digital version of Production Beating will be coming online. It is designed to work with Zoom breakout rooms. It combines all new selections of stories and concept images using The Drama Machine, with the added twist that groups of students must arrive at production concepts while staying in character. Character descriptions are delivered to participants digitally. Rules and procedures are reinforced by the app. Multiple fun and lively classes, ready to go.

Subscription or Umbrella Subscription will be required.

Participants will receive the character traits they must adhere to as a part of the digital exercise. the character descriptions will be derived from the Production Beating card game.