Stage Design in a Traditional Church Environment
For many churches, especially newer churches, buildings, renovations, the stage area was thought through with a modern look and feel that allows stage designs to easily flow forth. But what about the countless number of churches that are in a more traditional room? Maybe you’ve got a small pulpit, choir loft, and pews. Can you create a stage design in this space that won’t feel awkward and out of place?
It’s a bit more challenging, but yes you can. You’ll need to dig in, communicate well, and find a blending between your design and your room.
Here are some options/considerations to discuss when implementing a new stage design in a traditional church environment.
Embrace Your Architecture
A major movement in the church creative world is using imagery of stained glass, cathedrals, and arches to pull the congregation into that traditional church environment. If you have those elements, embrace them and incorporate them into your stage design.A stained glass window can be highlighted easily through lighting control and maybe a good cleaning.
If you don’t have the ability to make architectural and/or set changes, consider using Environmental Projection. This will enlarge your stage and bridge the gap between the stage and the audience. The great part of environmental projection is the ability to change the look in an instant. You can be surrounded by a massive cathedral one minute and then deep in the forest the next. Take your congregation on a visual journey as your story unfolds.
Lighting can go a long way
One of the biggest areas for change in many traditional church environments is lighting. Typically there are just overhead lighting with perhaps a small handful of theatrical lighting for a general stage wash. These lights are almost always white light or perhaps an amber tone. Add some color with low cost LED’s for uplighting. This will add depth to your stage and allow you to utilize different looks for songs, sets, or series.
Create a stage – using fabric/paneling/etc.
Do you lack a true stage? Some church sanctuaries don’t have the most well defined stage area. A great place to start is bringing focus and clarity to your stage area. It’s hard to craft a great stage design if you’re not sure what your stage is. Use fabric, paneling, flats, or even paint to help define the space. This will enable you to focus your efforts while keeping the architectural integrity of your space.
Do you have a traditional church environment that you want to make some stage design improvements? Send me a pic and I’ll see what recommendations we can make. Share your pics of your stage design with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.