Elements of Theatrical Design
By: STO Marisa Berrones, Midland High School, Troupe 3376
The STOs would love to say congratulations to all of the State Theatrical Design finalists. After so many amazing designs at State, it only makes sense to cover the elements that go into theatrical design!
When thinking about theatrical design, costuming is likely at the forefront of your mind. The show's actors come onto the stage and your eyes are drawn to the beautiful colors of the makeup, hair, and costumes. When watching the show you might not be thinking about everything that goes into costume design, but behind the scenes there are hours of work dedicated to making a show look the way it does. For example, when my company did The Beggar’s Opera it was a three-day process of getting ready. For a Saturday performance hair would be put into sponge rollers on Thursday, kept in all of Friday, and then brushed, teased, and lastly Got-2-B Glue-d for two hours on Saturday. If that wasn't enough, we also had to paint on tooth rot, put on layers and layers of petticoats, and cover everything in dirt. The getting ready part of a show can only happen after a color palette, styles, and scheme have been decided on.
Set design is another one of the first things you'll notice about a show's theatrical design. Whether it's at a fall performance or an OAP 7-Minute Set-Up, the set is there before any of the actors even are. While it may seem like a set can go up in minutes it takes weeks of construction and planning for a set design to be finished.
While what goes into making a show look fantastic is incredibly important! What would a show be without its audience? The best way to gain an audience for your show is to Market it, but the hard truth is, if marketing is not aesthetically appealing then it will not do its intended job. The marketing of a show typically will follow the same color palette and textures chosen for the costume design. It will include notable symbols from the show like the badger on the Puffs poster. Another way to market your show is by handing out little nick-knacks similar to items in your show. For example, when my school did Puffs in the fall we sold buttons similar to the ones that Cedric wore and felt badger flags to pass out at our homecoming parade!
With a now expanded knowledge of what the elements of theatrical design are you too can participate in your own company or even UIL Theatrical Design!
Your 2022 Texas State Thespian Officers
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