- Although the use of footlights in the theatre can be traced back to the 17th century, it was during the years just prior to the modernist era that they became synonymous with the stage itself. For example, Olive Logan's 1870 memoir was titled Before the Footlights and Behind the Scenes, and Otis Skinner's in 1923 was Footlights and Spotlights. The row of lights set into a trough across the front of the stage complemented lighting from above the stage so that actors would not have harsh shadows beneath the brow and chin. Many actors believed that footlights erased wrinkles and brightened the eyes. The type of footlights described in The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson could still be found in rural areas during the early modernist period: "The footlights of the best theaters in the Western country were composed of lamps set in a 'float' with the counter-weights. When a dark stage was required, or the lamps needed trimming or refilling, this mechanical contrivance was made to sink under the stage" (Jefferson 1964, 27). Like other lighting components, footlights progressed from candles to oil lamps to gas to electricity.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
Look at other dictionaries:
footlights — [foot′līts΄] pl.n. a row of lights along the front of a stage at the actors foot level, formerly common in stage lighting the footlights the theater, or acting as a profession * * * foot·lights (fo͝otʹlīts ) pl.n. 1. Lights placed in a row along… … Universalium
footlights — [foot′līts΄] pl.n. a row of lights along the front of a stage at the actors foot level, formerly common in stage lighting the footlights the theater, or acting as a profession … English World dictionary
footlights — (n.) 1836, from FOOT (Cf. foot) (of the stage) + LIGHT (Cf. light) (n.) … Etymology dictionary
footlights — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ a row of spotlights along the front of a stage at the level of the actors feet … English terms dictionary
Footlights — Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, commonly referred to simply as the Footlights, is an amateur theatrical club in Cambridge, England, run by the students of Cambridge University and now also the Anglia Ruskin University. The club was … Wikipedia
Footlights — Театр АДК дом клуба «Footlights» Театральный клуб «Footlights» при Кембриджском университете (англ. Footlights … Википедия
footlights — noun plural Date: circa 1839 1. a row of lights set across the front of a stage floor 2. the stage as a profession < the lure of the footlights > … New Collegiate Dictionary
footlights — [[t]f ʊtlaɪts[/t]] N PLURAL In a theatre, the footlights are the row of lights along the front of the stage … English dictionary
footlights — foot|lights [ˈfutlaıts] n [plural] a row of lights along the front of the stage in a theatre →↑spotlight … Dictionary of contemporary English
footlights — foot|lights [ fut,laıts ] noun plural a row of very bright lights at the front edge of a theater stage … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English