Looking for theatre plays with important light prop
November 12, 2012 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for major theatrical plays, set no later than 1950, that feature a lamp, flashlight, or other luminous prop as important to the story. If possible, please summarize the prop's usage including where in the story the prop is used. Thanks in advance!
posted by landonmoon to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Gas Light
posted by trip and a half at 2:19 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The play should be set no later than 1950 or written no later than 1950?
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:25 PM on November 12, 2012

Long Day's Journey Into Night. Turning electric lights on and off is a recurring theme throughout.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:38 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In the original play of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell was played by a moving light accompanied by bells.
posted by Mchelly at 2:56 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Invisible Man. Link includes relevant photos.

From the Wikipedia article about the novel upon which the play is based:

In the Prologue, Ellison's narrator tells readers, "I live rent-free in a building rented strictly to whites, in a section of the basement that was shut off and forgotten during the nineteenth century." In this secret place, the narrator creates surroundings that are symbolically illuminated with 1,369 lights from the electric company Monopolated Light & Power. He says, "My hole is warm and full of light. Yes, full of light. I doubt if there is a brighter spot in all New York than this hole of mine, and I do not exclude Broadway." The protagonist explains that light is an intellectual necessity for him since "the truth is the light and light is the truth." From this underground perspective, the narrator attempts to make sense out of his life, experiences, and position in American society.
posted by milk white peacock at 5:10 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know if you're only looking for non-musical shows, but: The Phantom of the Opera? A very large chandelier comes to life and rises grandly from the stage at the beginning of the show, and crashes back down as a major plot point mid-show.
posted by ausdemfenster at 5:18 PM on November 12, 2012

Response by poster: @dlugoczaj - Set no later than 1950.

Thanks everyone for the tips!

Does anyone know of scripts calling for hand props that light up and are important to the story, such as flashlights or other luminescent devices?
posted by landonmoon at 6:22 PM on November 12, 2012

Best answer: Err... A Christmas Story is now a broadway musical, does that count?

(I am thinking the very big prize of the 'leg lamp' that the father receives. "Frah-gee-lay! Must be Italian!"
posted by Grither at 6:49 AM on November 13, 2012

Best answer: Candles?

In "The Glass Menagerie", the play ends with one character exhorting another to blow out candles.
posted by amtho at 7:01 AM on November 13, 2012

Best answer: Okay, here's another: The one-act Sorry, Wrong Number has the police coming in with flashlights at the end to reveal the murder -- I don't remember if the murderer also uses one earlier on.
posted by Mchelly at 12:20 PM on November 13, 2012

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