Ken Billington: A Performing Arts Legacy Project site


The Lighting Archive website was created by Beverly Emmons as a location to show the history of lighting design with the original paperwork used to create the lighting for shows.  It is a huge undertaking and I have helped as have numerous other lighting designers all giving our time, so the history of stage lighting has a place to live. Unlike scenic and costume designs where renderings, sketches and photographs can show what the designers work was.  Lighting can only be enjoyed while watching the performance, photos do not show what the lighting looked like it’s how the camera saw as the lighting and of course that can be manipulated.  The website shows the process of how the lighting was created on paper and then handed to the electricians and how you document ephemeral light.


Light Plot

Equipment List/ Shop Order

Sweeney Todd - Broadway - Equipment List

Cue Sheets

Sweeney Todd - Broadway - Cue Sheets

Focus Charts

Sweeney Todd - Broadway - Focus Charts

Magic Sheet

Sweeney Todd - Broadway - Magic Sheet

Dimmer Hookup

Sweeney Todd - Broadway - Board Hookup


ETC on Headset

Practice your programming skills in real time as you listen to award-winning Lighting Designer Ken Billington direct his lighting team for the production of New York City Center Encores’ Me and My Girl.


Broadway Lighting Seminar 1989

In the mid 1980’s Helen Marie Guditis created Direct from Broadway with the intent of starting a Broadway Theatre Museum. To get stated she organized design panels on Lighting, Scenery, Costumes and Sound. Helen asked me to put the Lighting Panel together. I called my colleagues, and they all were eager to join Abe Feder (1908 – 1997), Peggy Clark (1916 – 1996), Tharon Musser (1925 – 2009), Jeff Davis and myself as moderator. The panel was held in the auditorium of the Museum of the City of New York in the Spring of 1989 and was open to the public. Helen tried for years to get the theatre museum off the ground, but it never happened. For this panel the sound designer put a home video camera in the back of the room which is why this record exists.

The importance of this video is the history of lighting design. Lighting was usually done by the head electrician working with the director, scenic designer and producer; this went on until the late 1940’s. Lighting designers were the newest addition to the design field to be followed by sound designers and now video designers. Abe Feder who was usually credited as Lighting by Feder created the term Lighting Designer in the 20’s. Peggy was one the first lighting designers with her career starting on Broadway in the 1940’s in fact she was the first lighting designer ever listed on a poster which was for the Broadway production of Medea in 1947. Tharon Musser who’s first Broadway show was the original 1956 production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Tharon lighting to new heights when she added the first computer on Broadway to operate the lighting on the new musical A Chorus Line. 250 is the combined number of Broadway shows Abe, Peggy and Tharon lit. With this history I said to Jeff Davis in the 90 minutes of the panel we do not have much to add. Let’s leave it to Abe, Peggy and Tharon to give us the history. I must say I was so in awe of the panelists I probably could have done better as the moderator. When I introduce everyone on the video you will hear their amazing credits, or you can go to for a full list.