2008 -- film directing * Spring 2003 Don Juan (I direct and will use the webpages in class, in addition to Hamlet); check Biomechanics (Acting II) * Brecht Theatre Subscribe with Bloglines * diggo [ new ]
designing set for movement plot

invisible sings, patterns

designing in space for time : dynamic set compositions

designing for light

... exerc. in class/homework *




My future shows


... showcases (list)



TOPICS: drama + comedy + postmodern + time + space + show + spectacle + audience + theory + public +
Meyerhold and His Set Designers (American University Studies XX: Fine Arts) by Marjorie L. Hoover 0820405795
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Broadway tickets at TickCo. Get the best available Mary Poppins tickets as well as tickets to Wicked and Disney's High School Musical tickets.

Stage Directing Theory
Directing Theory: pre-text, text and super-text
* The Images (The BM Album) are still not all in place! [new from vTheatre -- GeoAlaska, links to my graphic files are in the list minipages]
Script Analysis Directory & DramLit

Featured Pages: Film Directing

Meyerhold @ Work * film directing * Spring 2003 Don Juan (I direct and will use the webpages in class, in addition to Hamlet); check Biomechanics (Acting II) * Brecht Theatre Subscribe with Bloglines * diggo [ new ]

Meyer sum


Play Analysis

1. First impressions: notes of reactions to play on initial reading, including images, colors, etc.

2. Research: Summarize the most important insights you have gained from your research into your play. Discuss specifically how your research findings will influence your interpretation and/or production of the play. List sources consulted (in bibliographic form).

3. One-sentence statement of action (root action/significant action).

4. Structural Analysis: identify and briefly discuss inciting incident, each major complication (in order), major crisis (turning point), major structural climax, major emotional climax, resolution. Give enough detail in your analysis so that the reader can identify the point in the play that you are talking about and why you consider this the inciting incident, etc. For complications, note the effect of the complication on the action.

5. Brief discussion of theme. State theme clearly and support your choice of theme with evidence from the play.

6. Brief discussion of style of the play. What choices are you making about style for your production? Why?

7. Spine of the play--identify and discuss briefly.

8. Character Analysis--Biography.

9. Motivational Units: Break your scene into motivational units and number/name the units. Present this portion of the analysis in promptbook format, with starting and ending points of each unit marked; unit analysis should be on page facing page of text.

10. Discuss any particular directorial problems posed by the play and the scene.

NOTES: biblio, references & ect.


Evaluation of Directing:
Play/Production: _______
Director's Name:


Visual Elements:



Names of Principle Actors and Characters:

Supporting Actors & Characters:

Evaluating the Designs:
Scene Designer/Set:


Concentration/Condensation of time and space (Part III -- Stage)


Film Directing

Most directors work from inside out and from the outside in. They concentrate not only on the life of the characters but also on the play's structrual or external elements, including its central conflict, function, event, architecture, and suspense. Michael Bloom

stage designers

Henning Nelms� �Scene Design: A Guide to the Stage� (Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-23153-4). Though written by a Canadian, most of the terminology is familiar. It�s definitely for students starting with little or no background, and it lists for $8.95.

Harvey Sweet "Graphics for the Performing Arts and The Complete Book of Drawing for the Theatre" [out of print].

Elements of Art:
Pattern and Repetition
Composition - Rule of Thirds
Color (value)

Stage designers are responsible for designing stage settings for productions, from single scene dramas where the action takes place in one room, to complex scenery and scene changes required by major productions. They may also become involved in costume design.
Considerable research may be necessary before work can start, especially if a particular period or country is portrayed. Designers produce models for approval by the director of the production. Models are frequently used to demonstrate the setting of a stage or a location, and designers are often skilled in modelling; or they employ assistants to make them.

stage lighting design and stage set design @ amazon *

Planning the production

The Director and Designer work on the style and period in which the production is set. Once the decisions have been made, the model box is produced and presented to the Production Manager and the various workshop and wardrobe departments.

The model box is a three dimensional miniature version of the set with all scenery and props scaled down on a scale of 1:25. The model acts as a tool to help everybody create the vision of the director and designer on stage. It is a main point of reference when building the set and the props.

The set

The Construction Manager and drawing office provide detailed drawings of how the set should be built. Each set may be required to play in many different venues and must be capable of being taken off stage quickly to change over to a different production the following day.

Every item of scenery has detailed construction drawings produced on Computer Aided Design (CAD). The plans are then handed to the scenic workshop and Paintshop and props team.


A prop may be a hand prop, furniture or small items, which may be man-handled. These can range from huge casts for tall statues to a bunch of flowers or a letter. Attention to detail is crucial and reference books are constantly in use to ensure accuracy to a particular period.

The costumes

In collaboration with the Costume Department the Costume Supervisor and Designer decide on the best way to create the costumes. This may include the shoes, hats, armour, underwear, jewellery, buying the fabrics, booking the costume makers and setting up the costume fittings.

To create a particular period feel or a design with a particular colour scheme, neutral fabrics often arrive direct from the factory to be treated by the Dyeing Department. Fifty percent of costumes are broken down in some way to look worn or to show general wear and tear. Common tools of the trade for the department include a cheese grater, sandpaper, Stanley knives, a blow-torch, emulsion-based paints and fabric paints.

At the beginning of rehearsals all the actor�s measurements are taken. The Men�s and Ladies� costume departments work closely with the designer to discover the best way to interpret a costume. The Armoury and Boot Department make, recycle or adapt boots and shoes for a production. The Hats and Millinery team create a particular look using felts and straw, wire, buckram, plastics and veils.


Design Production Meetings

You should discuss your design concept with the design team and visit the venue with as many of the team as possible. This must be done early to allow time for the design process (you may wish to begin even before the play is cast), and to allow time to clarify ideas as the early rehearsals begin. Please try to avoid burdening yourself with the additional pressure of late decisions regarding the design. The designers will need to produce a design, to identify difficulties, safety issues or unusual expenses involved with your production. The design meetings need to be held far enough in advance of the budget production meeting that a designs/models/ideas etc. can be brought to budget meeting. Also, the earlier you get a floor plan, the less reblocking you will need to do when you find out what it really looks like� Where the set is concerned, please, both of you try to be realistic, taking into account the budget, the time to build the set and the limitations of the venue. Don�t forget to provide time for costume fittings in your rehearsal period. If possible, get a sound tape made on cassette and use as early as possible in rehearsals.

You may need other production meetings with your design team to keep things on track, so keep time available for this. You will also need to discuss well in advance with your stage manager, set designer, lighting designer and sound just how the final rehearsals will run - in our hired venues time is very precious, so must not be wasted. If you are directing a musical you will need additional time, resources and personnel. Please see the section on musicals in this document.

American scenic artist, Robert Edmond Jones: "the theatre is only an arrangement of seats, so grouped and spaced that the actor ... can reach out and touch and hold each member of his audience."

Stage Design powerpoint *

Godot.06 UAF main stage *

Script Analysis

Theatre Books Master Page *


Meyerhold and His Set Designers by Marjorie L. Hoover; Peter Lang, 1988

Design for the Stage: First Steps by Darwin Reid Payne; Southern Illinois University Press, 1974

- Part 1: the Scene Designer - 2. the Designer's Role in the Production Plan - 3. the Designer and the Playwright - 4. the Designer and the Director - 5. the Designer and the Physical Stage - 6. the Designer's Areas of Influence - 7. "The Art of the Theatre: the First Dialogue" - 8. "The Building or the Theatre" - Suggested Reading
- Part 2: Creative Research - 9. the Nature of Research - 10. External Research - 11. Internal Research - 12. Historical Accuracy - 13. Research into Designs - 14. the Designer's Library - 15. a Filing System for the Scene Designer - 16. "Stage Design for the Epic Theatre: an Evaluation of Caspar Neher"
- Part 3: from Text to Designs - 17. a Note: an Explanation Concerning Explanations - 18. from Text to Designs - 19. Reading the Script: Some Initial Considerations - 20. Environment: Creating a Living Atmosphere for the Actor - 21. the Overview: Madame Butterfly - 22. Research into Action: Romeo and Juliet - 23. Detailed Analysis of the Script: the Church Scene in Faust - 24. the Design Concept on the Stage: the Glass Menagerie - 25. a Note on the Progress of Scene Design During the Past Decade - 26. the Scene Design as a Physical Embodiment of Abstract Qualities: the Caretaker - 27. on Being Upstaged by Scenery

Design for the Stage: First Steps by Darwin Reid Payne; Southern Illinois University Press, 1974

A Method of Lighting the Stage by Stanley McCandless; Theatre Arts Books, 1958

[ dramaturg pages ]

Theatrical Design in the Twentieth Century: An Index to Photographic Reproductions of Scenic Designs by W. Patrick Atkinson; Greenwood Press, 1996

-- lessons # ?

Directing Index * Part I * Part II * Part III * Part IV * Part V *
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A Brief History of Theatrical Scenery [ sample -- portfolio ]

... "The Designer's Role in the Production Plan
The scene designer is an artist unlike almost every other creative artist. While he is an individual, he is also a member of a team; his work, no matter how unique, is not complete without the work of the other members of that team. It is something of a paradox that the greater the cooperation between these individual contributors to the production is, the more singular becomes the artistic rewards for each. Conversely, when there is a disparity in the various elements of the production, when it is obvious that those who are responsible for the final product have not meshed their skills and efforts into a unified whole, no one emerges with successful results... "

[ Design for the Stage: First Steps by Darwin Reid Payne; Southern Illinois University Press, 1974 ]

Matrix -- Stage Directing: Style & Designers

Light + Set + Costumes + Makeup +

Design -- Aesthetic composition of a dramatic production as created by lighting, scenery, costumes, and sound.

[ costumes.org "The Costumer's Manifesto" by Tara Maginnis ]

Main: Meyerhold & His Designers


EXPRESSIONISM - Theatre design and performance style which places greater value on emotion than realism. The trademark Expressionist effects were often achieved through distortion.

NATURALISM - When creating a lighting design, naturalism dictates that lanterns should be placed according to where the light would come from in nature. For example, a sunny day would be lit primarily from above the acting area, with fill lighting in from the sides as if from the cloud. A dark room would be lit by moonlight through a window, and the light level would increase when a door is opened from a lit corridor or when a light fitting is turned on.

... everything else is in between.

[ see dictionary & glossary ]


"Stage lighting may be defined as the use of light to create a sense of VISIBILITY, NATURALISM, COMPOSITION and MOOD, (or ATMOSPHERE)". So began a chapter in the 1933 text: 'A Syllabus of Stage Lighting' by Stanley McCandless. Most comprehensive lighting texts since, also tend to discuss the artistic objectives, (functions) of lighting, in these terms. McCandless recognized that these are 'overlapping' qualities and one does not exist independently of the others.


VISIBILITY is often considered to be the most basic and fundamental function of stage lighting. What we don't see, we seldom clearly understand. Visibility is dependent on far more than just the intensity of light. Other factors such as; contrast, size, color and movement all can influence visibility. Distance, age and the condition of the eye also play important roles in visibility. "Good visibility is essentially selective. Its purpose is to reveal things selectively in terms of degrees of acuity". - (S. McCandless, 1933).


NATURALISM provides a sense of TIME and PLACE. Stage settings may be highly realistic or completely abstract, absurd, or stylized. If time of day is important or the place is realistic, then MOTIVATION is often provided by sunlight, moonlight, firelight, lamplight, or other naturalistic stage sources.

Style concepts include: naturalistic, unnaturalistic, realistic, surrealistic, pointilistic, futuristic, minimalistic, impressionistic, expressionistic, expansionistic, abstract, modern, religious, romantic, Victorian, primitive, gothic, Elizabethan, Georgian and many, many more.


COMPOSITION refers to the overall pictorial aspect of the stage, as influenced by the lighting. Composition also deals with the FORM of an object. A stage scene may be broadly flooded with soft, even lighting, revealing every object equally, or it may be illuminated by highly localized lighting on the actors only - or anything in between. So, composition in lighting must reveal actors, objects and scenery in proportion to their importance, by building a visual picture.

Composition concepts include: balanced, unbalanced, symmetrical, asymmetrical, simple, complex, abstract, geometric, fragmented, symbolic, dynamic, linear, random, crude, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and many more.


MOOD considers the basic psychological reactions of the audience. If other lighting elements have been properly applied, the result is a specific MOOD, created by the lighting design. Lighting can cause an audience to feel a wide range of different emotions. Feelings of 'happy, sad, content, horrified, excited, (and often 'bored'), all depend on a wide number of psychological and physiological factors. This is also true in respect to how the audience interprets naturalistic or atmospheric moods, such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, lightning, etc. The stage lighting designer rapidly learns that: "Things are not what they are, things are what they appear to be." (http://www.mts.net/~william5/sld/sld-100.htm).
Stage Lighting for Theatre Designers 0435086855 [ chek out the showcases ] From Page to Stage : How Theatre Designers Make Connections Between Scripts and Images What steps are involved in making the jump from a script's text to an engaging imaginative stage? From Page to Stage explores the relationships between text analysis, imagination, and creation.
2004 & After

projects: Oedipus 2005

new: Taming of the Shrew 2004

missing: film acting

directing wish list (short):



Virtual Theatre: Directing, Acting, Drama, Theory

playsChekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare

Class One Act: Proposal Chekhov

ReadSpeaker AudioFeed - Podcast of this blog


related pages: matrix, mise...

Homework/Visual Composition

How you read the symbols: eternity Eternity (half) -- design element, incorporating it into movement/mise-en-scene [ floor plan ].

Pentagram (right) : thinking about organising floor plan for two characters : R/G are Dead (exerc.)

... hyper-links to the lessons [context] pentagram

How different is the message in Star -- compare the "stars" -- How different it is on the right?

Point. Direction. Half-circle...

rosecross Rose-cross...

[ "Secret Dance" of figures and patterns in movement (mise-en-scene) -- and correlations with the set designs. Choosing the set design, you are formating the choreorgaphy. ]


You have to start with a single point ( . ), next is a line ( __ ), cross ( + ) ... continue the visual statements. Stay simple: triangle, square, circle. Seven colors, seven... The rest is combinations. The secret is the changes, "directions" (directing). eyehorus

How about this one? Do you know the origins of the signs?

Next: part 4
[ to be continued : captions and notes to pix ]

@2004 film-north * American Set Design

Examines the stage sets by eleven top U.S. designers and discusses the background of each artist.

* The Costume Designer (Tara = costumes.org)

* The Lighting Designer (Kade = alaskasbest.com)

* Sound Design

The Business of Theatrical Design

For theatrical design students and theatre professionals, here is the essential guide to marketing your skills, furthering your career, and operating a successful business! In The Business of Theatrical Design, design veteran James Moody shares his proven techniques to help costume, scenic, and lighting designers become successful businesspeople. Here is the latest information regarding IRS, state, and business liabilities; salary and fee scales; equipment costs professional organizations; union and contract issues; and much more. Plus dozens of working producers, promoters, and designers share their insights and offer a thorough, true-to-life profile of this competitive industry. An indispensable resource for anyone looking to pursue a career in the theatre! - The first book to address theatrical design as a business - Features a gold mine of information for anyone working in the field.


Design oversight and inspiration:

Production meetings
To coordinate managerial efficiency
Concept meetings
To coordinate artistic elements
Director helps to get ideas across to designers, without restricting with interpretations.
(H, P, &L, 237: Hal Prince, very famous director / producer, said: The worst thing that can happen is to get back from artists exactly what you ask for."
Director brings all different interpretations of different designers into a single focus.
Unity and Variety -- variety within unity sought.






http://www.artincanada.com/arttalk/compositionglossary.html *



http://www.goshen.edu/art/ed/Compose.htm *


http://www.artsalive.ca/en/eth/design/sound.html *

http://lupus.northern.edu:90/wild/th241/chap5.htm *



stage set design @ amazon *

Mayakovsky's "Bathhouse" (Meyerhold)

Brecht. "Mother Courage"


Verhan's "Dawn" (Meyerhold)

Theatre Theory -- see "Constructivism Page"! + Fomalism [ Structuralism ]



"Costume designs are metaphors for characters" writes Terry McCabe. �You are what you wear. This is why . . . productions of Hamlet that wish to emphasize Hamlet's melancholy nature costume him in black, and it is why, to help convey the suggestion of a moth in Blanche DuBois's manner, Tennessee Williams specifies that her costume be white."

A set design is more than just an environment for the action, -- writes McCabe. "The physical world of a play is a metaphor for its theme."

www.culturecult.com/theatre/strindberg.htm Fixing Strindberg, Shakespeare, et al -- What playwright�s ghosts endure (interpretation and limits) *

Scenic Design on Broadway: Designers and Their Credits, 1915-1990 by Bobbi Owen; Greenwood Press, 1991

What Is Scenography? by Pamela Howard; Routledge, 2002 - Introduction - Chapter 1: Space Measure to Measure: Playing in the Space - Chapter 2: Text the Hidden Story - Chapter 3: Research: Asking Question� Finding Answers - Chapter 4: Colour and Composition - Chapter 5: Direction Finding the Way - Chapter 6: Performers the Scenographic Actor - Chapter 7: Spectators the Great Mystery - Postscript

Scenographic Imagination by Darwin Reid Payne; Southern Illinois University Press, 1993 - 1: The Scenographic Artist - 2: The Scenographer and the Physical Stage - 3: The Scenographer and the Written Text - 4: Creative Research in the Theater - 5: The Scenographic Vision

Artwords: A Glossary of Contemporary Art Theory by Jennifer McLerran, Thomas Patin; Greenwood, 1997

Vasari on Theatre by Thomas A. Pallen, Giorgio Vasari; Southern Illinois University Press, 1999

2007 An online course supplement * Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations rate
2006 by vtheatre.net. Permission to link to this site is granted.

Next Theatre DIRECTING amazon Part 4. Public

stage directing home: 2007 GROUP * appendix * biblio * books * reading * references * links * faq * new * glossary * forum * students * notes * list * archive * keywords * swicki + theatre-swicki.eurekster.com * flickr * virtual theatre domains * calendar * popup * sum * video * store * my notebook * [ I ] [ II ] [ III ] [ IV ] [ V ] + amazon.com/kindle | * my live.com/theatre

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