Life Sucks: A Documentation of the Lighting Design Process




Cabrera, Julia

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Life Sucks is a comedic play written by Aaron Posner, based on Chekov’s classic: Uncle Vanya. Texas State University’s theatre department produced Life Sucks in the Mainstage Theatre space this fall, for which I was the lighting designer.   In the spring of 2022, the Life Sucks design team began compiling research that was shared across design departments and with the director. After attending multiple meetings where we solidified the world we would build, I drafted variations of light plots detailing how the lighting instruments would exist in relation to the scenic elements of the stage. I then generated detailed paperwork that was used to circuit and program the lighting fixtures. After installing scenery and rehearsing in the space, the lights were programmed, and the show was opened.   My final thesis presentation includes the documentation of my design book, drafting, paperwork, research, images of the completed production, and explanations of the process. The purpose of the lighting design is to enhance the scenic, costume, and sound elements of the production, as well as stay true to the director’s vision. It contributes to the storytelling, without distracting from other elements of the play. 



lighting design, theatre production, performing arts, Honors College


Cabrera, J. (2022). Life sucks: A documentation of the lighting design process (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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