So you wanna do Theatrical Design?
By STO Marisa Berrones
Are you interested in design but don’t know where to start? Well, this is a good place to look! We asked Texas Thespians across the state what questions they had about theatrical design and answered them to the best of our abilities. So let’s soar into theatrical design.
Q: What does theatrical design encompass?
A: There are four areas of theatrical design: scenery, lighting, costuming, and sound. Without any of these areas, the show will be missing a crucial part of the experience you get from live theatre.
Q: When a tech crew is working on designing a show, how can you make sure everyone is on the same page and properly communicating?
A: While it may seem like an easy answer, the best way to make sure everyone is communicating effectively is to talk. My favorite way to communicate is by sending out rehearsal reports after each rehearsal and making sure everyone reads it by adding a few questions in!
Q: What skills do you need in order to do lighting design?
A: Whether you are new to tech, or have been a part of the crew for years and are just starting to learn the ropes of light design, there are no skills needed prior to joining. Just come prepared with a ready-to-learn attitude and lots of extra paper!
Q: What is the average size of a set?
A: There isn’t one! Every show is different and every stage is different so there is no average set size!
Q: In theatrical design, how often do you view the set from the audience’s view?
A: I personally look at the set from the audience’s view every time the set is put up and taken down. I also take pictures from the middle of the auditorium to compare the set from other perspectives. For my OAP set last year we changed the setup nearly every day, so watching from the middle and back of the auditorium was crucial to our set design.
Q: How does viewing a set design from the audience change the final layout and mapping of the stage?
A: Viewing the set from the audience’s perspective allows directors to see where the performers may be hidden, light cues need to be fixed, or props need to be moved. Another part of sitting in the audience during a rehearsal is being able to see if any dialogue is misheard or if any sound cues are too low.
Q: What is the average amount of time it takes to fully design a show?
A: The average amount of time it takes to design a show is around 4-6 months, but that does not include the hours of rehearsals used to get every last cue exactly how it needs to be.
Now go out there, and design those shows!
Best of luck,
Your 2021 Texas State Thespian Officers
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