top of page



The design PROCESS starts with the script.  All designers must  read the script. Realistic and interesting designs can not be created without knowing exactly what the script requires.


Once  the NEEDS of the script are determined, all designers take the time to  INTERPRET the script:  What does it MEAN?  What's MOST IMPORTANT to convey through design?  What is the HEART of the production?  What should it FEEL like? What's the THEME?  Is there a STYLE that should be considered when designing?  Is there an important or implied METAPHOR that could be shown through design?  What COLORS, IMAGES, and COMPOSITION on stage may best support the director's telling of the story?

After a designer has INTERPRETED the script (which is shared/discussed with the director), (s)he then goes                                      in search of  rESEARCH & INSPIRATION for the design.  This is often done by researching various aspects of the script/story, including the setting, the time period, historical references within the script, the style or genre of the piece, photos from the time period or setting, source material, etc.  A designer may also research her/his own ideas for design.  See an example of what I mean by this HERE.

As part of YOUR Design Process, you will be creating a Design Board to visually display your research/inspiration and designs. 


Once a designer has carefully read the script (to determine what's needed for design), and has both interpreted and researched important aspects of the script and design (which also involves design meetings with the director), (s)he can then BEGIN DESIGNING

In order to design anything, a new designer must become comfortable with failure, and leave plenty of time for it during the process.  All creative work involves multiple attempts before arriving at the best outcome.  In the creative ideas/planning phase, if you consider your first idea the best idea, you're probably not involved in creative work, and should re-consider what you've created.  Failure is natural, accepted, and expected in this course...and it should be part of your set design process.  However, since theatre is ALWAYS on a timeline, it's important to spend a LOT of time "failing" very early on (in the ideas & prototype phase), because it will help prevent bigger failures later on, when time is not on your side.


Designing and creating anything that's original requires planning.  How this planning "looks" is up to you, but you need to make your designing/planning VISIBLE.  Your  planning may include sketches of your designs, or even photos of prototypes or physical attempts at your design.  This documentation process could also include a catalog of tutorial videos on how you learned to compile or make your costume, interviews with experts, or documentation on mentoring you received in tool use or skill development in order to gather or create your costumes/costume pieces.  (You can use your Google Classroom Process Journal to document your journey each week of your design process.)

Task (SUMMATIVE Grade):  YOUR contribution to the Completed Set for the show 

dress/tech rehearsals:

Tech/Dress Deadline (Formative Grade):   Prior to Dress/Tech rehearsals, all physical aspects of the set and backstage space should be complete.  Artistic aspects, such as detail painting or set dressing may still be on-going, but the physical structure and non-artistic painting must be completed prior to the first Tech rehearsal.

bottom of page