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Chichester Festival Theatre: How I became deputy head of lighting at a theatre

Steph Bartle, 36, lives in Middleton-On-Sea. She is deputy head of lighting at Chichester Festival Theatre.

I have worked at Chichester Festival Theatre as deputy head of lighting for just over four years.

Prior to this I worked at Nottingham Playhouse as deputy head of lighting, sound and AV.  I was drawn to the role at CFT as I wanted to focus more on lighting rather than sound and AV. I also wanted to live nearer the sea.

What do you do in the role of deputy head of lighting?

In the summer season, when we produce shows, I work with the gead of lighting and lighting designers to realise the lighting design for each show. This involves rigging and focussing lanterns, building practical lighting props and set electrics with a team of lighting technicians.

During the winter season, when we receive touring shows, we work with visiting re-lighters/production electricians to adapt and recreate the lighting for each show.

What do you love about your job?

I enjoy seeing a show transform from a lighting plan to physical design. We get some really interesting set and costume designs at CFT and the lighting is key to add atmosphere and texture to bring the shows to life.

What advice would you give someone who wants to follow into the same role?

As the lighting industry is constantly evolving, to keep up with technological and environmental advances there is always something new to learn.

The best advice I could give to someone getting into the industry is to always ask questions and understand that you’ll never stop learning.

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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