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Theatrical Design: The Process

A general overview of the theatre design process. Notes for Technical Theatre class.
by

Derek Green

on 25 August 2014

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Transcript of Theatrical Design: The Process

Theatrical Design: The Process
Research!
Pinning down the Design...
Send it to Production!
Time to build the set, make the costumes, pull the props, and hang the lights!
The Script
One Story,
Many Interpreters:
While the different areas of stagecraft (scenic, costumes, lighting, sound, etc.) have their own unique challenges, the design process for each area is basically the same.
1st Read-Through:
Just read and enjoy
the play. Get a sense
of what the show is
about and how you react as an audience member.
Subsequent Readings:
Analysis
Dialogue and Subtext
Actions and Conflict
Stage Directions
Given Circumstances . . .
Designers Meet with the Director
Discuss the Play
Discuss the Director's Vision
Develop the Production's VISUAL METAPHOR
representative visual image used to invoke a mood and a theme, unifying the design aspects of the production
History
Architecture
Clothing
Lighting
Politics
Atmosphere
Shapes, Lines,
and Designs
Colors
What does this research look like?
What do I research?
Pictures
Drawings
Paintings
Photographs
Sculpture
Film Footage
Music
Interviews
Newspapers
Journals

Google Images
Books
Museums
Archives
Other "Field Notes"
Example:
Robert Mark Morgan

"Theatre begins and is grounded in a story. The story, usually created by a playwright in the form of a script, is the foundation for the collaborative theatrical experience; it is the central work that all of the other artists interpret." -- Karen Brewster & Melissa Shafer
Identify the "Given Circumstances"
Total set of conditions in a character's world that influences their actions
(time, period, place, locale.)

Determine the Design Objectives:
Theme
Mood
Style
WHAT?
Where?
Some Helpful Tools:
The Designers meet with the director
Go over what was found in the research, photos, sketches, renderings.
Select, develop, and finalize the designs
Othello
Mother Courage
The Cherry Orchard
Pinterest - visual research, bookmarking research, collaboration
Evernote - cloud-based note-taking, bookmarking research, collaboration
The Cleveland Museum of art, Gallery One, ArtLens app
Cameras, phones, or sketchbooks--save the images you see on the go!
Select the Play
Read-Through
Script Analysis
Research!
Develop Design Concept
Create & Rehearse
Produce & Perform
Strike
Full transcript