Sound Design: the Art of Foley

by Caitlin Hall

Sound Design: the Art of Foley


Caitlin Hall


Unit Objective:

Students will demonstrate their mastery of sound and the creation of sound by adapting and performing a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream using live sound effects.



Beginning/Intermediate Technical Theatre


Previous Experience:

Beginning set and lighting design


National Standards:

  • TH:Cr1.1.I.a. Apply basic research to construct ideas about the visual composition of a drama/theatre work.
  • TH:Cr1.1.I.b. Explore the impact of technology on design choices in a drama/theatre work.
  • TH:Cr3.1.II.c. Re-imagine and revise technical design choices during the course of a rehearsal process to enhance the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.
  • TH:Pr5.1.I.b. Use researched technical elements to increase the impact of design for a drama/theatre production.
  • TH:Re9.1.I.b. Consider the aesthetics of the production elements in a drama/theatre work.
  • TH:Cn11.2.I.b. Use basic theatre research methods to better understand the social and cultural background of a drama/theatre work.


Big Idea:

Tuning in to sound helps us increase our awareness of the world around us.


Essential Questions:

  • What happens when theatre artists use their imaginations and/or learned theatre skills while engaging in creative exploration and inquiry?
  • How do theatre artists transform and edit their initial ideas?
  • What can I do to fully prepare a performance or technical design?
  • How are the theatre artist’s processes and the audience’s perspectives impacted by analysis and synthesis?
  • In what ways can research into theatre histories, theories, literature, and performances alter the way a drama process or production is understood?


Key Knowledge and Skills:

  • Adapt a scene from a script to a radio show
  • Experiment with and create practical sound effects
  • Creating a sound cue script
  • Listening as a sound designer


Authentic Performance Tasks:

  • Write a scene outline – Explanation
  • Writing a radio show script – Interpretation and Application
  • Complete a detailed cue script – Application
  • Performing their show with sound effects – Application, Perspective
  • Write a response paper to the assignment grading themselves and their peers – Empathy, Self-Understanding
  • Sound Board Quiz – Explanation, Application



Lesson 1: What is Foley?

Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of Foley art and sound design by selecting a scene (in a group) from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to adapt into a short radio show.


Lesson 2: How to Write a Radio Show

Lesson Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of how to move along a plot by writing a script for a Radio Show.


Lesson 3: Work Day

Objective: Students will complete their radio show scripts in preparation for a sound rehearsal.


Lesson 4: Experimenting and Rehearsing With Sound

Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of sound design in a radio show by experimenting and rehearsing with different objects to prepare their sound cue list and script.


Lesson 5: Performances

Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of sound design and Foley art by presenting their radio shows to the class, along with turning in a completed sound cue script.


Lesson 6: Introduction to Sound Systems

Objective: Students will understand the purpose of the sound board, microphones, and other equipment in the theatre space as demonstrated by their personal experimentation with the equipment.


The Art of Foley Sound Design Unit of Lessons.Caitlin Hall