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Stagecraft Week 14 (hybrid)

(November 30-Dec 4, 2020)

Important terms/concepts/info are in RED.

Google Classroom assignments are in BLUE.

In this Stagecraft unit, we are learning about THE PROCESS OF DESIGN.

So far we've discussed that most design starts with defining what something should "feel" like (or how we want the audience to "feel").  However, all things that are designed in the world MUST also satisfy certain NEEDS.  Consider "needs" and "feelings" as the yin and the yang of design. They help the design to remain balanced - purposeful yet artistic. (In the 'real world', you may have heard the phrase "form vs. function".  Theatre demands BOTH.)

When designing for the stage, designers MUST FIRST determine the NEEDS of the script.  In other words, what does the SCRIPT define as what's NEEDED for the telling of the story, location, characters, time of day/year, theme, etc.

In theatrical design, there is NO shortcut for this step.  All designers (set, costume, props, make-up, hair, lighting, sound, etc.) MUST carefully read the script in its entirety, taking notes about all the information in the script that could impact the design.  Sometimes the needs of the script are stated (ex:  in a playwright notes about setting, for example), and sometimes the needs are implied (ex: in a character's line or lyric).  Ultimately, designers are "clue-finders" when reading scripts, locating all the "needs" before beginning their designs.

Once a designer has determined all of the script's NEEDS, (s)he often speaks with the director. This, too, is a "need" when designing because it is the director who has created an overall "vision" for the his/her telling of the story.

Finally, a designer begins the next phase of design:  RESEARCH.  Research isn't necessarily the boring type of research you do in High School.  Think of research, instead, as a scavenger hunt.  It's a "gathering process" where one piece of information/inspiration leads to another, until you eventually arrive at a "finish line" (which for a designer is ironically the "starting point" for your overall DESIGN CONCEPT). 

This week's unit is focused on...  



Day 1 (Virtual)Monday, November 30, 2020 (self directed + Zoom check-in @ 1:30)


1. Read ALL Information written above (if you haven't already) for this unit.


2. Watch:  Designing Theatre: The Comedy of Errors (4:41)

Google Classroom Journal Title: Scenic Design (Comedy of Errors)  (week 14 - day 1)

1.) What does the designer do when she FIRST reads a script?

2.)  What does she do after that? 

3.) What are some feeling/mood/style words given that guided her design?

4. Watch:  Tony Nominee Tobin Ost Discusses the Set Design of "Newsies" (4:42) 

Google Classroom Journal Title:  Scenic Design (Newsies)  (week 14 - day 1)

1.)  What NEEDS of the script/action did the set design of Newsies satisfy?

2.)  What RESEARCH did the designers do to make the design historically accurate?

3.) What was the "STARTING POINT" that inspired the rest of the design?

5.  Watch:  Mary Poppins -  Creating Mary's World  (4:44)

Google Classroom Journal Title:  Scenic Design (Mary Poppins)  (week 14 - day 1)

1.) What were some of the NEEDS of the script?

2.) From where did the designer find INSPIRATION for the design?  (both the original design and the touring show's design)

3.) How did the design handle transitions?

6.  Watch:  KP Teaching Video:  Ideas, Inspiration, Transition (5:00)

Google Classroom Journal Title: Ideas, Inspiration, Transition  (week 14 - day 1)

Day 2 (Virtual)Thursday, Dec 3 (L-Z) - Friday, December 4 (A-K)


Complete all learning activities listed above.  No Zoom check-in is required this day, so that you can work on the above learning. (Note: I will not accept journal entries past 3:00 on Friday.  Your journal completion will be for a grade.)

Day 2 (In-Person)Thursday, Dec 3 (A-K) - Friday, December 4 (L-Z)

*If you are absent for this week's in-person, class, you must make-up the activities you missed, which are listed below.,,

1. Reviewed:  The Process of Set Design & Figurative vs. Literal Designs  (See KP Teaching Video if needed, for review)

2. Reviewed:  What is the FIRST step in designing a set?  (Answer: Read the script!)  Reviewed the types of things a designer must read FOR when reading a script.

3. Discussed how, after designers read a script, they seek to determine what MOOD/MEANING they want to create for their audience through the design of the set.  (A set does more than just show location...It should convey meaning and mood to an audience as well.)

4. Listened to the opening numbers (songs) from various musicals chosen by Ms. Price.  Students analyzed the MOOD of the opening number, and also the MEANING conveyed by the opening song.  (If absent, listen to each of the musical numbers linked below and determine which song/musical intrigues you the most.)

  • Blood Brothers

  • Little Shop of Horrors

  • Footloose

  • Fiddler on the Roof

  • Once on This Island

  • Hunchback of Notre Dame

5. Chose a musical (from the list above) to read and design a set for.  (Ms. Price will give you a copy of the musical script next class.)  If you are ABSENT today, be sure to e-mail Ms. Price which script you'd like to read.

3.  Watch:  KP Teaching Video:  Research in Design (5:00)  TALKS ABOUT NEEDS > DESIGN (RESEARCH)

Google Classroom Journal Title:  Research in Design  (week 14 - day 1)

1. Take notes on how/what could be researched when designing a set.

2. What set designs shown intrigued you?



This week's ZOOM classes:

Day 1 (Virtual):  Monday, November 30 @ 1:30 (quick Zoom check-in - REQUIRED attendance)

Day 2:  Thursday, December 3 (L-Z)   (NO check-in on Zoom required - instead, finish Day 1 Virtual above!)

Day 2:  Friday, December 4 (A-K (NO check-in on Zoom required - instead, finish Day 1 Virtual above!)

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