Chapter 9 the designer’s vision



1)     4 major designs 135

a)     scenery

b)     costume

c)      lighting

d)     sound

2)     scenographer 135

a)     European pro theater

3)     Pamela Howard – what is sceneography 135

4)     Each design unique

a)     Budget

b)     Physical space

c)      Production designer’s vision

5)     How do designers communicate 135-137

a)     Verbal descriptions

b)     2D drawings

c)      3D models

d)     material samples

e)     snatches of melody

6)     Linda – Goldoni’s servant of 2 masters – communication failure 136

7)     Linda Essig – email color design – colors wrong – 136

8)     What do designers do? 137 – 150

a)     Ten tasks listed 137

b)     Select a play to design 137

c)      Read and analyze script 138

d)     Research the world of the play 138-139

e)     Develop initial design ideas 139-140

f)        Collaborate in developing the production concept 140-141

g)     Prepare the 1st draft of the visual and aural designs 141

h)      Solidify the production concept 141-145

i)        Finalize the designs 145

j)        Complete technical drawings, charts, and plots 145-148

k)      Supervise the realization of the designs 148-150

9)     Task 1 – select a play to design 137

a)     Not at the top of the theater’s power pyramid

b)     Play is already selected

c)      Designers “select” a play by accepting or declining offer

d)     Decision influenced by:

i)        Fee offered

ii)      Quality of the director

iii)    The other designers

iv)    Work schedule

v)      budget

e)     designer amnesia 137

10) task 2 – read and analyze the script 138

a)     one way – seek same basic info as director about plot, character, genre, style, themes, and meaning

b)     second way – also analyze for info particular to their area of design

c)      scene designers – locations, entrances, anything specified by the playwright

d)     Costume designers – where and when play takes place. They make a character/scene plot listing of which characters are in each scene, note when costume changes happen, how much time for those changes, and find all costume references in the script

e)     lighting designers – where each scene takes place and what season and time of day so they can correctly ID the source of lighting

f)        sound designer – the specific sounds playwright calls for, and imagine the ambient sounds that can be created to enrich the feeling of the action

11)  task 3 – research the world of the play 138-139

a)     designers do extraordinary amount of research after reading and analyzing and before beginning their design

b)     Hungarian scenographer Gyorghy Szego – Glass menagerie – NYC skyline 139

c)      Designers must be well educated in history of art, architecture, interior decoration and furniture, clothing, theatrical costuming, and textiles. In the different illuminations created by oil, gas, candle, and electric lighting. And in the history of music

d)     Joseph Varga --- took pictures of fire escapes 139

e)     Designers are pack rats and acquire large libraries

12) Task 4 – develop initial designs 139-140

a)     Designers absorb their analysis and research to stimulate their imagination so they can express their individual vision and share their early ideas with the creative team at the first major production conference

b)     Eric Sinkkonen – Mutsumi Takaki 140

c)      Never put your designs in checked baggage

13)  Task 5 – collaborate in developing the production concept 140-141

a)     1st meeting director presents his ideas and asks designers to present theirs

b)     Niagara falls – not formal presentations

c)      goal of meeting is for everyone to leave with a shared sense of the productive basic interpretation, historical settings, theatrical style, and dramatic genre

d)     these mutual understandings will shape what the production will look and sound like and the emotional impact it will have – the production concept

14) task 6 – prepare a 1st draft of the visual and aural designs 141

a)     designers start in earnest

b)     Assimilated director’s interpretation, integrated their research and analysis with the other designers and arrived at production concept. Ready to design

c)      scene and costume designers sketch – some manually like Linda

d)     costume designers draw each costume and select fabric swatches for each

e)     sometimes they use computers

f)        build a white model – unpainted 3D scale model of set

g)     Lighting designers may storyboard play – illustrates where the light comes from. Develop ideas for how light will help tell story and shape mood

h)      Sound designers select music and sound effects from existing sources. Or build on multiple tracks a particular effect

i)        exchange ideas and confer regularly with director

15) task 7 – solidify the production concept 141-145

a)     2nd production conference

b)     designers present nearly finished designs

c)      scene designers describes scenery using a rendering – a perspective drawing that gives the illusion of 3D and/or a white model of set

d)     Eric Fielding – Othello rendering and white model 143

e)     Linda – sketch of costume – Truffaldino – servant of 2 masters 142

f)        Costume designer asks about colors and textures of set that will influence costume design

g)     Lighting designer discusses where lighting instruments can be hung

h)      Sound designers learn where speakers can be placed

i)        Everyone asks questions and makes suggestions that might lead to adjustments

j)        Joseph Vargas rendering – Glass Menagerie 144

k)      Costume designer shows renderings or sketches of each costume

l)        Lighting designer describes and demonstrates colors and angles of the lighting design. Discuss look

m)   Sound designer plays samples

n)      Team has clear vision of what production will be like

16) Task 8 – finalize the designs 145

a)     Designers go back to drawing board and make adjustments

b)     Everyone remains in communication – making changes and refinements

c)      Finalized designs submitted to director – ensures designs archive what they decided on

17) Task 9 – complete the technical drawings, charts, and plots 145-148

a)     Creative part of brain put on hold

b)     Prepare designs manually or put on computer – AutoCAD or vector works

c)      Technical drawings to convey design ideas precisely and clearly to people in workshops

d)     Scene designer drafts a large number of technical drawings

i)        Scale line drawings of ground plan showing scenery as it appears from above.

ii)      Front elevation – scale line drawing of flattened 2D front view of scenery

iii)    Cross section – scale line drawing of scenery as seen from side of stage showing where each piece of scenery will be installed

iv)    Work drawings – show how each piece of scenery constructed

e)     Joseph Varga – scale ground plan Glass Menagerie 146

f)        Joseph Varga – front elevation Glass Menagerie 147

g)     Costume designer

i)        Line drawings showing backs of costumes, trimming details, and accessories

ii)      Costume list – showing order in which costumes are worn

h)      Lighting designer

i)        Uses scene designers ground plan, front elevation, and cross section to draft a light plot shower where each instrument is hung

ii)      Instrument schedule – list each piece and color media (or gel) that will be placed in front of it, how it will be connected to the computer light board

iii)    Cue sheet – listing each time lights change and where in the script that happens

i)        Gel – short for gelatin. Color media before plastic

j)        Old joke would be to tell apprentice to wash the gel and it would dissolve 147

k)      Sound designer

i)        Uses computer to make sound plot – shows where speakers are placed and which channel each is connected to on the computer sound board

ii)      Cue sheet indicating what each cue is and where in script it occurs

l)        Light plot – GeVa theater – Glass menagerie – F. Mitchell Dana 148

18) Task 10 – supervise the realization of the designs 148-150

a)     Now must make artistic decisions on the spot

b)     Scene designers consult regularly with technical director and scene painter about construction and painting of scenery

c)      Costume designer meets daily with costume shop staff about costume construction – also attends fittings

d)     Lighting designer consult with technical director and master electrician about hanging and cabling. Supervise focus session where all lights are precisely aimed. Lighting used to create mood and sculpt figures on stage

e)     Michael Douglas – US Santa Barbara – Pirandello’s Henry IV 149

f)        Sound designers supervise sound board operator who assists in installation of sound equipment and operates computer board during performance

g)     Computers are great help but can cause chaos if they screw up 149

h)      Final phase of designers work begins with load in – when scenery is brought in and set up

i)        Actors begin rehearsing final rehearsals run by stage manager – coordinates the work with everyone else and is in direct communication with director

j)        In final phase of rehearsals scene designers supervise decoration of set and make changes suggested by director

k)      Lighting and sound designers design, set, and adjust each cue with director’s consultation to ensure visual and aural effects are correct, that volume is appropriate, and timing supports emotion of scenes

l)        Costume designers attend all rehearsals making adjustments as needed

m)   Creation is made real on opening night – playwright’s words brought to life by actor’s performances, director’s interpretation, and designer’s vision.

19) Stole my thunder – 18th century English – John Dennis 145

20) National union for designers  141

a)     USA – united scenic artists

b)     Branch of international alliance of theatrical stage employees

c)      Stamp

d)     Stage employees, motion picture techs, workers in allied crafts including prop artisans and scene painters




character/scene plot  A chart, usually in the form of a grid, that shows which characters are in each scene of a play; used by directors, costume designers, and stage managers. (9-138)

color media/gel  A thin sheet of colored plastic placed in front of a theatrical lamp; called a "gel" in earlier times because it was made from gelatin. (9-147)

costume list  A list of what each actor will wear from the skin out. (9-147)

costume plot  A list showing the order in which costumes are worn. (9-147)

cross section  A scale line drawing of the scenery seen from the side of the stage showing how each piece of scenery will be installed in the theatre. (9-146)

cue sheet  A list of things to be done by a crew member during a performance, referenced to lines in the script or actions on the stage. (9-147)

fitting  A session during which an actor tries on a costume and the designer makes any necessary adjustments. (9-149)

focus session  A working period during which the lighting designer supervises the electricians who hang, circuit, and focus all the theatrical lights. (9-149)

front elevation  A working drawing of the set that shows what the scenery looks like from the front. (9-146)

ground plan  A scale drawing of the floor of the stage showing the placement of the scenery; used by the actors in rehearsals and by the stage crew for the installation of the scenery. (9-146)

instrument schedule  A list made by the lighting designer listing each piece of equipment and the color media that will be placed in front of it along with how it will be connected to the computer light board. (9-147)

light plot  A scaled diagram drafted by the lighting designer that displays all the lighting instruments to be used in the design and where they are placed. (9-147)

load-in  The work period during which the scenery is brought into the theatre. (9-150)
master electrician  The supervisor of the electrical crew. (9-149)

production (design) conference  A meeting of the director and designers to develop the production concept. (9-140)

production concept  The result of the intellectual and creative process through which the director and the key collaborators determine how the script is to be interpreted and how that interpretation is to be realized on the stage. (9-141)

rendering  A colored drawing by a designer to communicate what a costume or set will look like. (9-143)

scene painter  A specialist scenic artist who paints scenery. (9-149)

scenographer  A theatrical designer of scenery and costumes (and sometimes lighting) who works collaboratively with the director to create the visual world of the play. (9-135)

sketch  A drawing by a designer to communicate the basics of a design. (9-144)

sound board operator  The technician on the sound crew who operates the computer sound board during performances. (9-149)

sound plot  A diagram showing the placement of all microphones and speakers. (9-148)

stage manager  The person in charge of all rehearsals and performances. (9-150)

storyboard  A term borrowed from cinema to describe a sequence of rough drawings that show how scenes will look in performance; used by some lighting designers to communicate the effects they plan for in their design. (9-141)

technical director  The supervisor of the scene shop, who supervises budgets, schedules, personnel, and the construction and installation of scenery. (9-148)

technical drawings  A scale drawing illustrating how scenery is to be built and installed. (9-145)

white model  An unpainted, three-dimensional scale model of the set built by the designer; usually made from foam core, cardboard, or some other material. (9-141)

working drawing  See "technical drawing." (9-146)



1 : Who creates the visual and aural elements of a production?
     c. The designer
 2 : All of the following elements of a production require a designer except
      d. Programs
3 : All of the following are tasks a designer completes except
     a. Coaching actors
 4 : An unpainted, three-dimensional scale model of the set is called
     b. A white model
5 : A perspective drawing that gives the illusion of three-dimensional depth is called
     a. A rendering

 6 : Designers use AutoCAD and Vector Works to
     c. Create technical drawings

7 : A scale line drawing showing scenery as it appears from above is called
     d. A ground plan
The correct answer is d
8 : A(n) _____ indicates how and when the lights will change during a production.
     b. Cue sheet

9 : The _____ is when scenery is brought in and set up on stage.
     a. Load-in

 10 : Who coined the phrase "stealing my thunder?"
     c. John Dennis


Chapter 10: Putting It Together




Carrie on Broadway page 151

Sondheim lyric page 151

Beware of Greeks page 153

“pander” info page 153

Achilles heel info page 153

Ajax comment page 153

Pic of Tom page 154

Varga sketch page 158

Linda’s sketch of Helen page 159

Linda’s experience with Romeo and Juliet set in Star Wars universe

t-shirt pic page 162

reenactor pic page 162

Joe’s doodle of stage design page 163

Sharpshooter info page 163

Mathew Brady pic/sketch page 164

Linda’s new sketch of Helen page 165

Set model page 165

Joe’s painted rendering of the scenery page 166

Ground plan page 167

Technical drawing page 167

Cross section drawing page 168

Painter’s elevations page 168

First page of sound cue sheets page 169

“build period” page 170

Banjo player Pete Wernick info page 170

Hector page 171

Thersites page 171

Joe called “Design-o-matic” page 171

Sconces pics page 172

LED sign on page 173

Kinter’s song and dance number color plate 19

Ajax and Hector’s boxing match color plate 20








painter's elevation  A scale drawing painted by the scene designer to provide scene painters with clear guidance in painting the scenery. (10-167)


production concept  The result of the intellectual and creative process through which the director and the key collaborators determine how the script is to be interpreted and how that interpretation is to be realized on the stage. (10-161)


turkey  A slang term for a theatrical production that fails commercially or artistically. (10-152)



Sample test


1 : What play did Tom and Linda work on for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival?
     d. Troilus and Cressida

2 : For this production, Tom was the
     a. Director

3 : For this production, Linda was the

     b. Costume designer

4 : In Shakespeare's play, who is the king of Troy?
     c. Priam

5 : What theatrical style did Tom decide to use for this production of Troilus and Cressida?
       d. Theatricalism

6 : Tom decided to set the action of Troilus and Cressida during
     a. The American Civil War
7 : How many weeks of rehearsals did the actors have?

     b. 6

8 : The character of Thersites was based on _____ for this production.
     c. Matthew Brady
9 : Helen of Troy has been described as having a face
     d. That launched a thousand ships

10 : On opening night, lead actor Richard Kinter was diagnosed with
     a. A hernia



Costume Design



“The transformation of the human body, its metamorphosis, is made possible by the costume, the disguise. Costume and mask emphasize the body’s identity or they change it they express its nature or they are purposely misleading about it; they stress its conformity to organic or mechanical laws or they invalidate this conformity.”


—Oskar Schlemrner, Man and Art Figure


The costume designer is concerned primarily with the visual appearance of characters. Whereas the scene designer characterizes the stage environment within which the ac­tion develops, the costume designer characterizes the players who function within that environment. Thus the work of the scene designer and costume designer interacts and needs to be coordinated carefully.



The Functions of Costume Design


Costume design may serve several functions. It may help to establish time and place. If the production concept calls for a realistic approach, the costumes may be based on the clothing worn at the time of the dramatic action (fifth century B.C., Shakespeare’s life­time, present day, and so on); they may indicate a particular country or region (ancient Rome, seventeen-century France, southwestern United States); a particular kind of place (throne room, battlefield, hospital, farm); or a time of day or occasion (casual morning at home, formal dance).


Costumes may establish the characters’ social and economic status by distinguishing between lower and upper classes, between rich and poor, or between more and less af­fluent members of the same group. Costume may identify occupation (nurse, soldier, po­liceman) or lifestyle (conservative middle class, fashionable leisure class, disaffected youth). Costumes usually indicate gender and may reflect age (by adhering to stereotyp­ical notions of what is appropriate to each age group). Costumes may also reflect a char­acter’s atypicality through dress that departs from the norm.




Costumes (more so than setting and lighting) are likely to retain some realistic qualities because they are worn by actors who must be able to move effectively and ap­propriately in them and because actors usually draw on real-life behavioral patterns in building their characterizations.


Nevertheless, costumes do not always adhere to realis­tic standards. They may embody a metaphor, symbol, or allegorical concept. For example, in the medieval play Everyman, the title character is summoned to his grave by a char­acter called Death; Everyman then tries unsuccessfully to persuade several of his com­panions (Beauty, Strength, and Goods among them) to accompany him. The costumes need to capture the essence of each character as indicated by its name. On the other hand, a production of Hamlet utilizing the metaphor of the world as prison may em­body this perception in more subtle and varied ways.


Costumes may reflect mood and atmosphere. Winnie’s neat and refined costume in Happy Days contrasts sharply with her entrapped state and re­inforces her determined cheerfulness. Costumes may help establish a particular style. In “The Hairy Ape,” the fashionable people on Fifth Avenue are dressed like marionettes to reinforce their mechanical behavior. Costumes may reflect formalized conventions, as they do in commedia dell’arte.


Costumes may enhance or impede movement. Light, flexible, and close-filling gar­ments (such as leotards) leave the body free, whereas heavy garments (with hustles, trains, and the like) slow down and restrict movement. Garments help to determine the amount, type, and overall pattern of movement and stage business.


Costumes can establish or clarify character relationships. For example, in Shakespeare’s history plays, in which warring factions are significant, members of the same faction can be related to each other and contrasted with members of rival factions through color schemes. Color can also be used to show a sympathetic relationship (through compatible colors) or an antagonistic relationship (through clashing or contrasting colors) among characters. Changes of color may be used to indicate an alteration in the relationship among characters.



Costume may establish the relative importance of characters in the action. Major char­acters can be made to stand out from minor ones by manipulating any or all of the ele­ments and principles of design. For example, Hamlet is given emphasis in part though his insistence on wearing black (the color of mourning), whereas the others are dressed in colors more appropriate to festivities following the wedding of Gertrude and Claudius.


Costume may underline the development of the dramatic action through costume changes. A movement from happiness to sorrow or alterations in a character’s fortunes, age, or a sense of well being may be underscored by changes in what the character wears.


Costume may create both variety and unity, because characters are not only individuals but also parts of a whole. Although each costume may be distinctive in some way, each must fit the total visual style of the production.


Costume can alter an actor’s appearance. By manipulating line and proportion, the costumer can make a plump actor appear more slender or a thin actor stouter. Boots may disguise an actor’s thin legs; color and ornament can draw attention to an actors good features and away from weaker ones. Costume also can be used to make a hand­some actor plain or misshapen. And, as in many children’s plays, actors may be trans­formed into animals, trees, or fantastic creatures.


Beginning in the 1960s, some groups questioned the need for stage costume at all. Such groups wore the same casual clothing in performance as they did in rehearsal or on the street. Since 1968, nudity has been wed in some productions. But both casual clothing and nudity are variations on stage costuming, because both merely extend con­cepts about what is dramatically appropriate.


The Costume Designers Skills


Costume designers need a variety of skills, many of which are pertinent to other pro­fessions (for example: fashion design, visual art, tailoring, sewing, social and cultural history, and acting). Like the fashion designer, the costume designer creates garments for particular types of persons to wear for particular occasions or purposes.


In creat­ing garments, both types of designers keep in mind gender, social and economic class, activity, climate, and season, as well as stylistic qualities. But unlike fashion design­ers, costume designers must work within circumstances dictated by the script, direc­tor, performance space, and budget. Fashion designers establish fashions, costume designers use fashions. Costume designers must be able to project themselves into any period and create garments not only for present-day fashions but also for those of other eras.


Because they communicate their ideas to others through sketches, costume de­signers must develop skills like those of the visual artist. They use a multitude of sketches to indicate their preliminary ideas about individual costumes and the overall look of the production. Many designers now use computers to generate sketches. How­ever produced, sketches facilitate discussion of the costumes, their relationship to the other visual elements, and their appropriateness to character, dramatic action, and pro­duction concept. Costume designers must also be able to render their final designs in color.


Although costume designers are not always involved in the construction of the garments they have designed, they often draw upon their knowledge of cutting, drap­ing, patterning, and sewing to achieve the desired effect. Therefore, they need to envi­sion the garments as tailors and seamsters would.


Costume sketches should indicate how garments are shaped, the location of seams, darts, and other features that create visible lines and affect cut and fit. Such information is essential for making patterns from which the garments are constructed. Because costume designers also specify the material to be used, they need to be familiar with various fibers (cotton, wool, linen, silk, synthetic fibers) and the characteristics of each. Such information permits designers to choose cloth for appearance, durability, specific use, cost, and other pertinent factors. Designers must also be knowledgeable about weaves, textures, and other qualities, be­cause these are important to the overall appearance of a costume.


Costume designers must be well grounded in social and cultural history (including the visual arts, dance, and theatre) because clothing reflects the mores, standards of beauty and stylistic preferences of period and place.


The more designers know about daily life, occupations, class structure, and favorite pastimes of a society, the better pre­pared they will be to design garments that reflect the status and function of a character within a specific culture. Because much of our information about clothing of the past comes from painting and other visual arts, knowledge of art history is helpful. Many productions today draw on theatrical conventions that were in use when the play written; consequently, knowledge of theatre history, especially the history of theatrical costuming, may be useful to the designer.


Above all, costumes need to be suited to the characters that wear them. Costume designers must be able to analyze characters in the same way as actors do, in terms of each role’s significant traits, motivations, feelings, and functions within the dramatic action.



Lecture Notes

Areas of the Theatre Structure

1.The theatre can he divided into distinct parts: the “player area” and the “audience area”.

2.Even when actors attempt to make the audience a part of the produc­tion, the spaces are separate.

3.The player area, or private space, includes the acting area; dressing rooms; scene, light, prop, and costume shops; and the storage space.

4.The audience area, or public space, includes the seating area, lobby, and cloakroom.

5.The theatre space can be split into four categories:

a.    the performance space;

b.    the performance support areas;

c.    the audience area; and

d.    the administrative area.

6.Theatres are designed to fulfill the purposes of theatre production and to provide the desired relationship between the audience and the actors.

7.There are four basic types of theatre structures: proscenium stage; arena stage; thrust stage; and found space, or environmental theatre.


The Proscenium Theatre

1.The proscenium theatre is the most traditional.

2.The proscenium stage is framed by an arch that creates an imaginary fourth wall through which the audience can watch the action on the stage.



1.A setting can be more realistic in a proscenium theatre than in any other structure.

2.   A box set is often used to represent the interior walls of a room or rooms.

3.   A painted backdrop is often used across the back of the stage to depict either indoor or outdoor scenes.

4.   Curtains called teasers and tormentors are used to mask the backstage areas and the fly space.

5.   A wing and drop system uses stationary flats and backdrops that can be raised and lowered.

6.   Drops are useful because they can be quickly flown in and out of the fly space as needed.

7.   Drops are attached to battens, which are lowered by use of a counter­weight system.

8.   Backdrops lend themselves best to presentational productions, since the actors must play in front of the scenery rather than within it.

9.   Scrims appear opaque when lighted from the front and semitranspar­ent when lighted from the back.

10. A wagon stage is a set constructed on top of a platform that can be rolled on and offstage.

11. Elevator stages can raise and lower entire sets.

12. Revolving stages are run by a motor that rotates a cutout portion of the stage floor.


Stage Areas

1.   The names of the stage areas in proscenium theatre relate to the raked stages of the Italian Renaissance, in which the portion farthest from the audience was higher than the part closest to the audience.

2.   “Upstage” is the area toward the back wall; “downstage” is the area clos­est to the audience. “Stage right” is the area to the actor’s right; “stage left” is to the actor’s left. “Up center” is the area closest to the back wall in the center of the stage.

3.   An apron, or forestage, is the stage area that projects out in front of a proscenium arch. This space is often used in presentational plays.


Advantages and Disadvantages

1.   Proscenium stages allow for a variety of special effects, such as the use of a grand drape separating the stage from the auditorium.

2.   The psychological and physical separation of the actors and audience is often a disadvantage.


The Arena Theatre

1.In arena staging the audience surrounds the action.

2.The historical origins are in the arena-style theatres of ancient Greece.

3.In theatre in the round, the audience completely surrounds the action, so it is impossible to give the effect of a painted picture that has come to life.

4.Generally, the playing space is at floor level, with the audience seated on raked platforms and looking down on the action.



1.The props and set pieces used in arena theatre must be realistic, since the audience is so close to the action.

2.Furniture and prop pieces must be low enough to allow clear sight lines.

3.Makeup must be subtle and costumes realistic due to the audience’s proximity.


Advantages and Disadvantages

1.Lighting instruments are hung from a grid above the playing space in arena theatre, and they are always in view of the audience, which can be a disadvantage for some plays.

2.All changes in setting must be done in view of the audience. Actors are always in view as well.

3.Directing is difficult, as the director must focus primarily on the audi­ence ‘s ability to see the action.

4.The proximity of the audience to the action creates a feeling of intima­cy. Actors may work more subtly and can be heard without a great deal of effort.


The Thrust Stage

1.Sometimes a thrust stage is built so that the audience looks up to see the action, but most are situated like the arena stage, with the audience looking down on the action.

2.The audience is seated on three sides of the action, which resembles the ancient Greek staging that was common after the appearance of the .skene building.

3.The rear wall allows more scenery than is possible in the arena stage. There is also room for storage of props and sets.


Variations of Stages

1.   Modified thrust stages have a proscenium and a large apron that pro­jects into the audience.

2.    Platform stages are similar to the proscenium stage, but do not have the framing device.

3.   Wraparound stages form an arc around part of the audience.

4.   Side stages are playing spaces located on the sides of the proscenium opening. They afford a place to play small, intimate scenes having only a few characters.

5.   Theatres vary greatly in size. Some proscenium theaters seat three hun­dred, while others seat three thousand.

6.   Many theatre buildings include a black box theatre, which is a flexible space that allows for various staging and seating areas.


Environmental Theatre

1.    Environmental theatre, or found space, uses any space available for the playing area.

2.    The goal of groups performing in a found space is the breakdown of all barriers between the stage and the auditorium.


Offstage Areas

1.   The behind-the-scenes areas directly affect the production.

2.   Ideally, the area from the proscenium opening to the back wall of the the­atre should be one and one-half times as deep as the opening is wide.

3.   Ideally, the fly space should be at least two and one-half times the height of the proscenium arch.

4.   The stage floor should be made of soft wood, generally pine, so that scenery can readily be anchored with screws or nails.


Lighting and Sound

1.   Theatres generally have three lighting systems: house lights, work lights, and stage lights.

2.   House lights provide illumination for the auditorium.

3.   Work lights are used during most rehearsals and during construction of the set on stage. These lights are less expensive and conserve more ener­gy than stage lights.

4.    Stage lights are hung according to the designer’s light plot.

5.Theatres are generally equipped with three sound systems. One provides sound effects for the play; an intercom system allows technicians to talk to one another during the run of the show; and a public address system is used for communication with the audience.


Scene, Costume, and Property Shops

1.In the scene shop the set and large props are constructed and painted.

2.Costumes are made, dyed, and repaired in the costume shop. Many the­atres have long-term costume storage.

3.Some theatres have a property shop that is designed for the building and storage of props.

4.The electrical shop is the workspace for the lighting and sound technicians.


Dressing Rooms, Makeup Rooms, and Other Areas

1.Ideally, dressing and makeup rooms should be located close to the stage area for easy access.

2.The greenroom is the place where actors relax before and between acts of a performance.