Both are stage events and both had what you would expect for stage lighting. The kids play was held in a church where lighting was less than optimal. I shot both with the Nikkor AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8. I used to have the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, but the pictures it took weren't worth looking at (I am a perfectionist though). You have to spend money on good glass to get good pictures, but it all depends on what you are willing to put up with. Pro lenses (constant f/2.8) give pro results if you know how to use the camera, the downside being they are expensive. I got a used copy of this lens for $800, and that's about half what it would cost new.