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Humanities LibreTexts

4.1: Set Design

  • Page ID
    74031
  • Your set design is going to be one of the most important decisions made. It will inform your blocking, create an atmosphere for your production, and is the first thing your audience will see when they enter the space. Your set design will set your audience's expectations and help transport them into the world of the play. You want to make sure that your set has levels so that you can create dynamic stage pictures, you want the color palette to compliment the mood of the production, and you want your set to offer insights into the character’s world.

    Give your designer a copy of the play in advance of the meeting. Once you meet explain the theme you have selected and then show the designer your research photos. Talk with them and discuss the way each of you see the set and its role in the production. Look at all of your designers as collaborators and equal voices in the creation of the imaginary world of the play.

    How to prepare for your meeting

    • First read the play and write down all of the locations in which scenes take place.
    • See if your budget or space will allow for set changes and see if you want to have a stationary set, or if you would like a set change for each location.
    • Research and see if there were productions of the show in the past that had elements you liked. If so save them, if not discard them and find examples from anywhere (magazines, comics, art, film/tv, etc.) that you do like.
    • Research and find pictures for each setting. Find multiple options and make sure in your meeting with the set designer to communicate what you like about each picture and how you think it might be incorporated into the set design.
    • Make sure your pictures are of the same style and feel, or be specific with your designer about which style you want them to emulate or take inspiration from.
    • Let them know their budget
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