As the students come into the room, give them a ruler. When they are seated, ask the students if any of them know how to read a ruler. If there is anyone who can read a ruler, have them draw it on the board and demonstrate for the class how to use it, prompting them if necessary. Why is it important to know how to read a ruler if you’re designing a set?
Step 1: After the students learn how to read a ruler, take them into the theatre. Demonstrate for them what measurements are necessary for a floor plan. Now have the students measure furniture pieces on the stage. They should write down the measurements on a paper.
Step 2: Hand out empty graph paper to the students. Teach them that one square equals a foot on the graph paper. The students should transfer the measurements they just took onto the graph paper.
Step 3: Draw an example of a box set on the board. Draw out the floor plan in the following order: walls, doors, windows, large furniture, small furniture.
Step 4: As you draw, discuss basic stage conventions. These are the following: • Almost all furniture faces audience • Exterior doors are usually SR • Interior doors are usually SL or US • Fireplaces tend to be SR • French doors are usually SL • Living/dining room furniture are in the same area
Step 5: Have the students sketch a rough drawing of their own previously chosen scenes on a piece of paper. Have them decide where they want the furniture to be.
Step 6: Once the students have finished sketching out their floor plan, have them draw out the design on the “Stage Graph Paper” provided. They should use rulers and the graph squares to draw it to scale. Remind them of the order that they should draw their floor plans (step 3). This is just a rough draft to be turned in for critique. They will create a final draft for the design board.