High School Educator’s Professional Development Workshop in Lighting Design Education

2023 NYC DOE HS Educators Workshop at NYU

This two-session IN-PERSON, professional development workshop will provide Secondary School Educators with tools for teaching students about the art and technology of lighting design. We will cover career paths for lighting designers and experiential lesson planning to increase your learner’s capacities in lighting and prepare them both for work on your school’s productions and a path into college and career. All of the activities have been prepared with NJ and NY state educational standards and coding, and participants will be given lesson plans that they can use in their own classrooms.

Feedback from prior HS Professional Development Workshops from Studio School of Design:

Wow. That was an amazing experience at the lighting workshop. Made great connections, got awesome ideas, and was super inspired. -Helio, HS teacher,  Queens

I loved the subject and the execution of it. [SSD] gave great lessons that were really transportable to the classroom. I can see myself really enhancing my unit on Lighting with this material and though this experience. –Peter, HS teacher, Bronx
I enjoyed this group and am actively recruiting students to be part of their summer program. I think we discussed this at one time – but I am a big believer in this this is a great opportunity for many students (as an entry point) as well as those who love  ‘design’ – and of course a great and fun way to look at storytelling.  Thank you!  -Sean, HS Teacher, Manhattan

No prior technical or lighting experience is necessary to participate in this fun & impactful professional development workshop. This program is targeted to all teachers who may be interacting with their students in theatrical productions or theater courses.

Program Facilitator(s):

Mark Stanley, Aja

More Information:

Workshop Schedule:

Session 1, Tuesday, May 16, 2023 5pm – 7:30pm

  • Intro and Welcome, including Chalk Project 10 minutes
  • Lighting Vocabulary: The Functions and Qualities of Light 10 minutes
  • Lecture / Demonstration: The Angle of Light as a Storytelling Tool 20 minutes
  • Hands-on Workshop: Exploring Angles of Light with “Found” Lights 20 minutes
    • Participant showing, group discussion and reflection. 10 Minutes
  • Break 10 minutes
  • Lecture / Demonstration: The Creation of a Lighting Image, or, sidelight is your friend 15 minutes Aja
  • Hands-on Workshop: Creating Stage Images using Art as inspiration. 20 minutes
  • Participant showing, group discussion and reflection. 15 minutes


Session 2, Wednesday, May 17, 2023 4:30pm – 6:30pm

  • Recap discussion and reflection on 1st session material 10 minutes
  • Jensyn Zoom 10-15 Minutes
  • Lecture / Demonstration: color terms for lighting and using color in light. 20 minutes
  • Hands-on Workshop: Color tells a story. 20 minutes
  • Participant showing, group discussion and reflection. 10 Minutes
  • Break 10 Minutes
  • Group Discussion: Using these lessons with your own students 10 minutes
    • Additional resources, course materials, using the resources that exist
    • Tips and Tricks for working with a High School Level Lighting Plot Aja
  • Available careers in Lighting Design: Video  10 Minutes
  • Intro Summer Program 5-10 minutes
  • Wrap up 10 mintues


Learning Outcomes for the Workshop:

  1. Create impactful course materials using skills and resources gained from the workshop to guide your high school students in their exploration of lighting design as a story-telling component of the performing arts.
  2. Use skills and resources gained from the workshop to implement lighting design concepts in realized stage productions at your school.
  3. Describe and use the four controllable qualities of light: angle, color, distribution and movement in the creation of a lighting design.
  4. Identify the variety of potential career paths for students with a background in lighting design and technology.
  5. Identify available college and other opportunities for your students to gain further knowledge in theatrical lighting design

This seminar has been made possible by donations from generous supporters of the Studio School of Design. Please become a supporter today to help us continue to achieve our mission to make our profession stronger through knowledge, access and belonging.

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Program Facilitator(s)

photograph of Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley

Director. President. Curriculum Designer. Facilitator.
Jensyn Oertel-Modero

Jensyn Oertel-Modero